Despite the various allegations against him, R. Kelly is slated to perform another show, but the #MuteRKelly movement is ready to shut it down once again.
Over the past 24 years, the R&B singer has been accused on several occasions of sexual abuse. The allegations go back to 1994, when he married a 15-year-old girl, all the way up to a few months ago where he was accused of sexually abusing his younger cousin.
The #MuteRKelly movement has been working to shut down Kelly’s shows across the country. His show at the University of Illinois-Chicago was cancelled in April, and his New York City show at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater was cancelled in September due to “low ticket sales.” The movement is fronted by co-founders Oronike Odeley and Kenyette Barnes.
Odeley sent members of the Jackson City Council, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture, and the media a letter yesterday, asking officials to stop Kelly from performing this Sunday at the Mississippi Coliseum. She asked: “Is there no morality clause outlining who the facility is rented out to?” in the letter.
“Across the nation, women and men have called for the cancellation of R. Kelly’s concerts … rooted in public disgust for Kelly’s use of sexual manipulation, abuse, harassment, and coercion of young black women,” she said. “It is unacceptable that in a day and age where powerful men are able to lose their careers behind the sexual assault of white women, the abusers of black women still get carte blanche to profit from and keep committing their crimes unchecked.
“We want this concert canceled immediately! This is a slap in the face to sexual abuse victims and shows, once again, that you consider profit is more important than the safety and well being of young black women.”
Steve Hutton, Mississippi State Fairgrounds Executive Director, said that the state would not stop the concert because they are not hosting the event, but “rather providing our facility to a promoter who is hosting the event.”
“Being a public venue we don’t restrict the right of anyone to utilize our facilies,” he said to the Clarion Ledger.
The promoter, nor Kelly’s team, have commented on the letter, and as of right now, the show is scheduled to begin this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Keyshia Cole is set to open the show.
Additionally, while Kelly is in the state, Jackson attorney Dorsey Carson has filed court documents in an ongoing lawsuit with the singer; he accused Kelly of having an affair with the wife of Hinds County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenny Bryant. On Sunday, Carson hopes to depose Kelly at his law office.