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Time’s Up demands LN, RCA, Spotify sever R. Kelly ties

The 'women of colour' of the Time's Up movement have called for Ticketmaster, Spotify and other music business to #MuteRKelly

By Jon Chapple on 01 May 2018

R. Kelly

image © RCA Records

The Time’s Up movement, which campaigns against sexual assault, harassment and gender inequality in Hollywood and the wider entertainment industry, has thrown its support behind a campaign to ‘mute’ the music of R. Kelly in response to allegations of sexual misconduct by the singer.

In an open letter announcing its support for #MuteRKelly, Time’s Up’s WOC (‘women of colour’) division has called on Live Nation/Ticketmaster, RCA Records, Spotify, Apple Music and more to cut ties with Kelly and “join us and insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds”.

Robert ‘R.’ Kelly has been accused of multiple incidents of sexual misconduct over the past three decades – most recently of effectively imprisoning several young women in what a BuzzFeed investigation described as an “abusive cult” centred on his home in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Join us and insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds”

The Time’s Up movement launched in the US in January, and made an appearance at the 2018 Brit Awards after both male and female artists donned white roses – the symbol of the campaign – in solidarity. It builds on the earlier #MeToo campaign, which followed the exposure of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as an alleged serial sexual harasser and led to similar allegations in the music industry.

The WOC group, which includes film director Ava Duvernay and singer Janelle Monae, demands action against Kelly’s label, RCA, as well as streaming services Spotify and Apple Music, which are “currently monetising R. Kelly’s music”, Greensboro Coliseum Complex (23,000-cap.) in North Carolina, where Kelly is playing on 11 May, and Ticketmaster, which is selling tickets for the show.

A Ticketmaster representative tells IQ the company has no comment on the letter.

Kelly (pictured) denies all allegations, telling Variety that while he “supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement”, the WOC’s campaign amounts to the “attempted public lynching of a black man.”


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