Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Jurnee Smollett-Bell Joins Growing Campaign to #MuteRKelly, R. Kelly Responds

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*Jurnee Smollett-Bell has officially joined the growing campaign to #MuteRKelly — lending her voice to the movement along with Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay.

In a lengthy Instagram post Jurnee shared on Monday (April 30), she explained that R. Kelly should not be allowed to perform at any venue because she believes he’s guilty of abusing young women and underage girls.

She wrote:

A letter to our sisters. We as WOC of Times Up, recognize the responsibility we have to our sisters of all kinds, across all industries. We see you because we are you. We stand linked with our sisters and will no longer tolerate the predatory behavior of R Kelly to go unchecked. This is a call to action to #MuteRKelly. His music must be turned down and the voices of these brave survivors must be heard. We’re calling on corporations that do business with him to cut all ties with R. Kelly and insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds. @RCARecords @Spotify @AppleMusic @Ticketmaster #MuteRKelly #TIMESUP

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Jurnee also shared several calls of action against Kelly, including one that states:

We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women of color and their families for over two decades now. And we declare with great viligance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us. THEIR TIME IS UP.”

The outrage over Kelly didn’t go unnoticed by many college student protestors in his hometown, Chicago. When it was announced that he was part of the lineup for the 2018 Love Jam at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Pavilion, they took action.

According to reports, Natalie Bennett, director of the Women’s Leadership and Resource Center at UIC helped to organize a petition, requesting that the administration shut down the concert. By Friday (April 27), they gathered enough signatures to make an impact.

Ticketmaster then informed fans that Kelly was no longer a part of the show, which also includes Xscape3, Lyfe Jennings, and K. Michelle.

Now that he’s been booted from the gig, R. Kelly has spoken out, via social media, to apologize to his fans and express his disappointment. He also dropped hints that he may take legal action as a result of his show being canceled because of “rumors.”

He wrote:

“I’ve never heard of a show being canceled because of rumors, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. … So I apologize to you guys and in the meantime, I’m going to try to get to the bottom line of it, you know, as far as my lawyers are concerned, and see exactly what happened and why I was canceled.”

The other performers will still be a part of the UIC show, but fans are being offered a refund following R. Kelly being booted from the event.

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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