Omarion, Ne-Yo, JoJo, Jada Pinkett Smith and more speak out after “Surviving R. Kelly” resurfaces the #MuteRKelly movement.
The outrage from Lifetime’s "Surviving R. Kelly" docuseries was extremely vocal on social media over the weekend, as fellow recording artists, TV personalities and actors all took a stand against the performer after the special’s troubling allegations.
While allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse with women and underage girls have plagued Kelly for years, he has continued to deny everything and has never been convicted of any wrongdoing. The singer threatened to sue Lifetime if they aired the series, but the network did not back down. According to TMZ, Kelly was "disgusted" by the series, which he didn’t watch.
The first two hours on Thursday night covered Kelly’s upbringing through the mid-’90s, offering unsettling stories from women speaking out about their alleged experiences with the "Pied Piper of R&B." On Friday, it was all about his child pornography trial, before Saturday night’s final two installments focused on singer’s alleged "sex cult."
See our full breakdowns for all three nights here:
As each new episode aired, a number of high-profile stars joined the #MuteRKelly movement, going to social media to voice their frustrations with the singer’s continued popularity despite the many, many allegations against him.
Omarion posted a lengthy thread of comments on Sunday night, saying he felt "compelled to voice my position" on Kelly since the performer has written songs for B2K. He called out everyone who bore witness "to the unthinkable and yet have remained silent" and saying "those responsible must be held accountable." While B2K will continue to play songs written by Kelly on their already-announced tour, Omarion promised to retire them from his set list for good after.
Jada Pinkett Smith expressed confusion in the spike in his music since the special began, asking her followers to explain why this was happening. "I really don’t want to believe it’s because black girls don’t matter enough, or is that the reason?" she asked. She promised to continue the conversation on Wednesday, January 9 on Facebook.
How is it that R Kelly’s music sales have spiked (substantially) since the release of the docuseries Surviving R Kelly? I need some help in understanding. What am I missing???
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While Chance the Rapper appeared on the series, he said his quote on the show was "taken out of context." During one episode, he said, "Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women." After the show aired, he tweeted, "the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls." He also apologized to the survivors.
Other stars who spoke out included Ne-Yo, Tank, Meek Mill, Kathy Griffin, Yvette Nicole Brown, Sunny Hostin, John Legend (who appeared on the special) and JoJo, who thanked her parents from keeping her away from him when she was a young girl in the industry.
See all their reactions below:
There is NO excuse. Music is important. It really is. But it’s not more important than protecting our children, protecting our little girls. PERIOD. #IHaveADaughter #TF!?? #MUTERKELLY
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I lot of artists, song writers, producers, record execs, etc are very confused as to how to respond to what they’ve seen and heard. We’ve all been inspired by this man. We’ve all been witnesses to his musical genius. We have shaped and molded talent we sign after his musical image. We’ve invested so much of ourselves into this man that it’s hard for us to let go. I no longer have that issue. I whole heartedly apologize for not coming to this realization sooner. I CANOT separate the music from the monster! My 3 black daughters won’t let me. What hurts even more are the facilitators around him. His team, his record company, the promoters, the radio stations! There has to be a line drawn. Enough has to be enough at some point. Who are we saying is worth protecting if we let this continue? I choose the lives of these young black girls! I’m sick to my stomach! Let me also say this! There are more men guilty of these crimes! Lets make sure none of them slip through the cracks every again! You are no king because kings don’t treat queens like this! #RnBMoney #TheGeneral
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