Skip to main content

Time’s Up Women of Color Call on the Entertainment Industry to #MuteRKelly

Time's Up WoC statement about R. Kelly and #MuteRKelly

We’ve already taken down Bill Cosby for his decades-long history of abusing and assaulting women. Now, it’s R. Kelly’s turn. The Women of Color of Time’s Up have banded together to call on their industry to boycott and investigate R. Kelly.

Women of color have been calling for this for years. I mean, I remember way back even before his infamous video with a teenage girl, there was the fact that he had married singer Aaliyah when she was only 15 years old. I was in high school at the time. That was eighteen years ago. We’ve been talking about R. Kelly’s penchant for teenage girls since then.

And yet, as Princess discussed in her piece on Kelly, nothing has been done. The concern, of course, being that movements like Time’s Up and the current iteration of #MeToo have disproportionately emphasized the pain and suffering of white women while being less supportive of women of color.

Now, Time’s Up WoC have banded together to call for people in their industry, as well as the corporations and venues that profit from their industry to #MuteRKelly by boycotting him, cutting all ties, and demanding a full investigation into his abusive history.

These women have also received support and amplification from allies both within and outside Time’s Up:

And of course, Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeTooMVMT and long-time advocate for Kelly victims, has expressed satisfaction today as Kelly already faces some repercussions from the #MuteRKelly campaign:

In some corners of the internet, you’ll still see and hear the concern over a “black man being targeted.” The same voices that hemmed and hawed about people “going after” Bill Cosby, and it’s infuriating because those critics are claiming to care about the marginalized, using the race of alleged perpetrators as an excuse to discount all sorts of misogyny and abuse.

WHAT ABOUT WOMEN OF COLOR, THOUGH?! When we talk about Black Lives Mattering, are we not talking about black women, too? Oh right. They’re supposed to just suck it up and take it, right? Because that’s always what’s expected of women of color: to bear the emotional and physical burdens placed on us not only by white people, but by our own men.

You don’t get to talk a big game about how you want to protect people of color only to ignore the pain of our community’s women to protect our men. Women don’t stop being black, brown, or Asian when they fight for gender equality, and men of color shouldn’t be absolved of their abusive behavior simply because they happen to also be members of a marginalized group.

Women of color matter, and when they suffer, we need to be just as loud and just as consistent with our support as we would be on behalf of any white woman. TMS stands with the WoC of Time’s Up and encourages everyone to #MuteRKelly. And while we’re at it, why don’t we just go ahead and mute Chris Brown, too. And also perhaps Nas.

(via ONTD, image: Time’s Up)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Pages: 1 2

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.