The Time’s Up movement is taking a huge stand against R. Kelly.
On Monday, the Women of Color within the activist group announced that they are joining with the existing #MuteRKelly campaign to call for investigations into years of alleged abuse by the R&B singer, according to Billboard.
“The scars of history make certain that we are not interested in persecuting anyone without just cause,” the group said in an open letter. “With that said, we demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women of colour and their families for over two decades now.”
The WOC of Time’s Up are calling out R. Kelly’s label RCA, as well as Spotify, Apple Music, Ticketmaster, and Greensboro Coliseum Complex, who all have ties to the singer.
Members of the WOC group within the Time’s Up organization include Shonda Rhimes, Rashida Jones, America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Lena Waithe, Kerry Washington, Ava DuVernay, and attorneys Nina Shaw and Tina Tchen.
In a statement to Metro.co.uk, Kelly said, “My team has advised me that this is not a proper platform to express my emotions. I will not discuss details about these false allegations that have been made against me.
“I will say that I am infuriated, and I am heartbroken by the false claims against me. These accusations being perpetuated by the media is an attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy that I have worked so hard to build.
“The police are not investigating me, there is no criminal investigations made against me, just allegations and conclusions,” Kelly added. “I ask that you wait for the truth to be revealed, before you condemn me.”
The #MuteRKelly campaign was started online in July 2017 by Oronike Odeleye and Kenyette Barnes with the message: “Join us in telling Sony and Live Nation to #MuteRKelly for habitually preying on teenage girls for the past 25 years. Sign to tell Live Nation to cancel his upcoming shows and Sony to drop his recording contract.”
John Legend tweeted out his support for Time’s Up and #MuteRKelly.
The Roots’ Questlove also tweeted his support.
In a statement to ET Canada, R. Kelly’s management said, “R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals — and in this case, it is unjust and off-target.”
“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,” the statement continued.
“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,” the statement concluded.
This month at the Coachella music festival, Vince Staples called Kelly a “child molester” during an interview and a woman filed a police report in Dallas, Texas, accusing Kelly of infecting her with an STI.
Kelly’s attorney Linda Mensch, publicist Trevian Kutti and assistant Diana Copeland recently severed their ties with the artist, and radio host Tom Joyner said he would no longer play Kelly’s music after a conversation with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.
In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges, but in the decade since, he has faced multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, including a report last year by Buzzfeed alleging he kept several women hostage in his home in a sex cult.