R. Kelly



Surviving R Kelly

Ghlezian Gonzales, Staff Writer

The release of “Surviving R. Kelly” first aired on January 3rd in the U.S. on the Lifetime Network, earning a record breaking 1.9 million viewers. This docu-series chronicles many of the sexual allegations against Kelly and includes several interviews from past survivors.

Though Kelly had been known to have sexual relations with underage girls since the 90’s, the first major investigative report against Kelly occurred in 2000 when a former music critic exposed a lawsuit against him on the Chicago Sun-Times. The report disclosed a lawsuit against Kelly for having a sexual relationship with aspiring singer, Tiffany Hawkins in 1991, when she was 15 and he was 24. The report was crucial in the acknowledgement of the many allegations held against him.

Throughout the following years, the famous singer-songwriter would be accused of a multitude of other crimes. However, in 2002 Kelly was indicted due to 21 counts of the production of child pornography, a pivotal moment leading up to one of his most infamous scandals: the sex tape scandal. In the tape, a man that’s supposedly Kelly is seen urinating on a girl. Apparently, the girl’s aunt had identified her in the video, but Kelly was found not guilty due to lack of evidence.

The public might most likely be familiar with Times Up and Me Too movements which were created to raise awareness for sexual abuse; however, a new movement has been brought into the limelight. #MuteRKelly has been circulating the web and a website is even dedicated to boycotting Kelly. The site, muterkelly.org, provides valid reasons of why people should join the movement, including clips from “Survivng R. Kelly”.

Spotify has even removed Kelly from their playlists,but the app still allows others to stream his music, stating:

“His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”