Time’s Up Committee That Includes Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes Joins Boycott of Singer R. Kelly
A committee for women of color within Time’s Up, the organization that played a key role in the #MeToo movement, is calling for a boycott of musician R. Kelly, who has been accused of a range of sexual misconduct.
The Time’s Up Women of Color committee, which includes director Ava DuVernay and television mogul Shonda Rhimes, asked on Monday that the music industry cut ties with the hit singer and songwriter while also seeking support for the #MuteRKelly movement that was started in 2017.
Time’s Up was started by women in the entertainment industry this year in order to combat sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. Its creation went hand-in-hand with the #MeToo movement of women coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
In a statement to news site The Root on Monday, the organization called for “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.”
The statement also referenced Bill Cosby, who was found guilty last week of aggravated indecent assault, saying “it is just a start.”
“We call on people everywhere to join with us to insist on a world in which women of all kinds can pursue their dreams free from sexual assault, abuse and predatory behavior,” the statement says. “To this end, today we join an existing online campaign called #MuteRKelly.”
Specifically, the committee asked that RCA Records (which produces Kelly’s records), Ticketmaster (which sells tickets for a May 11 show), the Greensboro Coliseum Complex (the venue hosting the May 11 concert), and music streaming companies Apple Music and Spotify drop Kelly. Fortune contacted all of the aforementioned companies for a response.
Kelly has denied all the allegations against him. In a statement to BuzzFeed, his management team said:
A 1996 suit brought by Tiffany Hawkins, an aspiring singer, claimed he “engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with (her), included but not limited to engaging in group sexual intercourse with (her) and other minors.” The singer settled the suit in 1998 for an undisclosed amount.
From 2001 and 2002, Kelly was sued and settled with three other women. One suit alleged sexual harassment and assault, another claimed he had sex with a minor and forced her to have an abortion, and another alleged that he taped a sexual encounter without her consent, according to Newsweek.
In 2008, a jury in Illinois found Kelly not guilty on charges of possessing child pornography, stemming from a sex tape with an allegedly underage girl.
Kelly was recently dropped from the lineup of the 2018 Love Jam concert in Chicago, where he was scheduled to perform on May 5.