Is time finally up for R. Kelly?
The Time’s Up movement certainly thinks so. The organization posted an open letter to social media and The Root on Monday morning outlining their grievances with the “Ignition” singer and calling for a boycott against his music, asking radio DJs, streaming services (specifically Apple Music and Spotify) and those who profit from his catalog—including RCA Records, TicketMaster and a North Carolina venue which is hosting a May 11 R. Kelly concert—to cut ties.
The letter notably is addressed to women of color in a bolded headline, “To our fellow women of color: We see you. We hear you. Because we are you."
The focus on the experience of women of color is significant considering that though the organization has been largely praised for its work in assisting women across industries attain legal resources to fight workplace harassment, some early critics noted that it wasn't inclusive enough. The letter was written by women of color within Time's Up organization, which counts Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes and Jurnee Smollet-Bell as members.
"For too long, our community has ignored our pain," reads the letter. "As Women of Color within Time's Up we recognize that we have a responsibility to help right this wrong. We intend to shine a bright light on our WOC sisters in need. It is our hope that we will never feel ignored or silenced ever again." The letter also demands "appropriate investigations and inquiries" into the allegations made by women of color over the past two decades. "We we declare with great vigilance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us: Their time is up."
The organization also cites the recent outcome of the Bill Cosby trial, in which the comedian was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault, as a positive step forward that, in part, fueled the decision to boycott R. Kelly.
The R&B singer's multiple offenses are outlined in bullet points in the body of the letter, and include the following: “[He] married a girl under 18 years of age; was sued by at least 4 women for sexual misconduct, statutory rape, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint, and furnishing illegal drugs to a minor; was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography; has faced allegations of sexual abuse and imprisonment of women under threats of violence and familial harm.”
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Several celebrities have already shown support for the boycott, including DuVernay, Amber Tamblyn, Alyssa Milano and John Legend.
If you're looking for something else to listen to this summer, might we suggest the new single by Time's Up supporter John Legend?