Randee St. Nicholas/ RCA RecordsA subgroup of the Time’s Up movement called Women of Color has their sights set on R. Kelly.
The collective released a statement Monday about the R&B singer amid allegations of sexual misconduct against young girls over the years.
The letter begins, “To Our Fellow Women of Color: We see you. We hear you. Because we are you. For too long, our community has ignored our pain.”
“The pain we bear is a burden that too many women of color have had to bear for centuries. The wounds run deep.”
The statement goes on: “As women of color within Time’s Up, we recognize that we have a responsibility to help right this wrong. We intend to shine a bright light on our WOC sisters in need.”
“It is our hope that we will never feel ignored or silenced ever again. To this end, today we join an existing online campaign called #MuteRKelly.”
The statement goes on to list a number of allegations made against the superstar, including marrying a girl under 18 years of age.
It also asks for the support of several companies, including Kelly’s label RCA Records and the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, where he’s scheduled to perform on May 11.
R. Kelly’s management team issued a statement Monday in response to the #MuteRKelly statement.
It begins, “R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals — and in this case, it is unjust and off-target.”
The statement continues: “We fully support the rights of women to be empowered to make their own choices. Time’s Up has neglected to speak with any of the women who welcome R. Kelly’s support, and it has rushed to judgement without the facts.”
“Soon it will become clear Mr. Kelly is the target of a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time.”
The statement goes on to say, “R. Kelly’s music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never — and will never — be silenced.”
“Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it. We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
A number of celebrities have shown their support for the #MuteRKelly campaign on social media, including John Legend, Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay, Scandal star Kerry Washington, and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes.
R. Kelly’s lawyer, publicist and executive assistant jumped ship from the performer’s team in recent weeks.
The “Ignition” star has been accused over the years of having sex with underage girls and possessing child pornography, but has denied all claims.
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