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R Kelly Responds To Time's Up Campaign
Christian Eede , May 1st, 2018 15:03

Statement from R Kelly's management describes Time's Up campaign focused on allegations against him as 'attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture'

Earlier this week the Women Of Colour (WOC) branch of the Time's Up movement, which was formed last year by a number of Hollywood celebrities as a movement against sexual harassment and abuse, gave its support to a campaign dubbed #MuteRKelly.

The campaign has been set up to encourage Kelly's record label, as well as gig promoters, streaming services and other sectors of the music industry to cut their ties with him over allegations of sexual abuse dating back more than a decade.

"Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time's Up movement," says a statement released by his management to Variety. "We understand criticising 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 goes on to describe the allegations against Kelly, made by numerous women, as a "greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him". It concludes: "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."

WOC's statement confirming its support of the campaign against R. Kelly said: "For too long, our community has ignored our pain. The pain we bear is a burden that too many women of colour have had to bear for centuries. The wounds run deep."

The statement then went on to call upon Kelly's label RCA Records, Spotify, Apple Music, Ticketmaster and the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina, where Kelly is scheduled to perform later this month, to "join us and insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds".

R Kelly's history of alleged sexual impropriety with women dates back to his illegal marriage to Aaliyah in 1994 when she was aged 15. It was later annulled by her parents after it was found that the marriage certificate incorrectly listed her age as 18. Multiple allegations of sexual misconduct have been alleged in the years since, while reports last year claimed that Kelly was running an 'abusive sex cult' and controlling and imprisoning women in his homes in Atlanta and Chicago. Kelly denies those allegations.