In a move nobody needed nor asked for, R. Kelly has responded to the ongoing #MuteRKelly campaign after reports came forth that the Time’s Up’s WOC division would be in support. The beleaguered R&B singer called the initiative a “public lynching of a Black man” in a statement, clearly ready to defend himself over decades of allegations.
Originally started in Atlanta by founders Kenyette Barnes and Oronike Odeleye, #MuteRKelly had a modest goal in the start to just stop the singer from performing in the Georgia city. Since then, the hashtag has been responsible for the cancellation of around 10 R. Kelly concerts.
With the involvement of Time’s Up, the campaign and hashtag gained tremendous momentum, and thus Kelly’s response.
As Variety exclusively shared:
“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 judgment 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.
“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.”
This is the first statment from Kelly’s side regarding the campaign since his attorney, publicist, and assistant all quit their positions.