Taraji P. Henson and Erykah Badu are trying to do some damage control after their recent comments concerning R. Kelly. According to Henson and Badu, their statements were taken out of context.
In case you missed it, Henson was dragged after she looked up #MuteHarveyWeinstein on Instagram to compare the results of Weinstein’s hashtag with that of R. Kelly’s. Noticing #MuteHarveyWeinstein came up practically empty while #MuteRKelly was widespread, the actress wrote “Hmmmm.” Social media immediately came for the Empire aunty—of course no one’s trying to “mute” a behind-the-scenes film producer…he doesn’t do music and he isn’t on the radio. Also, there’s a case against Weinstein as well as two documentaries about his predatory behavior…it’s not like his crimes are being swept under the rug. And furthermore, why the need to compare R. Kelly to Weinstein in this moment? Yes, of course Weinstein should be put away, but R. Kelly victims also deserve justice regardless of what’s going on with anyone else’s case. If you’re not defending or normalizing R. Kelly why try to shift focus onto someone else? What did that “Hmmmm” mean exactly?
Well, Henson says she was only making an observation…however misguided it may have been.
“I actually was just making an observation. I never tried to say anything,” she said during an interview with the Associated Press. “I was just making an observation, and people know what side I’m on. Why would I launch a foundation for mental health in an African-American community for people to go somewhere to talk to somebody about traumatic experiences and then side with the predator?”
“Does that make sense?,” she continued. “So that backlash pretty much came from people that want to see me fail anyway, because there’s no way if you follow my career, you got that confused.”
When asked if she was surprised at the backlash, Henson reportedly responded “Sort of, kind of, you know. Humans are fickle…anything you say or do can be taken totally out of context.”
Meanwhile, Henson’s What Men Want co-star Badu has been under fire after she asked the audience to pray for R. Kelly during a concert in Chicago and seemed to very clearly say she would love the alleged predator unconditionally.
“There’s no deep meaning to it, you know. Unconditional love is love. Love is love,” Badu told the Associated Press. “And I didn’t just pray for R. Kelly: I wanted to send energy out to everybody involved, everybody that’s hurting as a result of being hurt, is what I said. And I just thought it was weird that people thought that was weird. Why is that weird that I want love for people?”
Badu says her words weren’t an indication that she supports his bad choices. “That I support his bad choices?,” she continued. “I don’t know him. I don’t know who he is. It’s just my default setting, you know. And social media, as a default setting, is to attack.”
After their explanations, do you think their comments were taken out of context? Watch the clip above.