Detroit Activists Plan Protest Outside Of R. Kelly Concert
The hashtag #MuteRKelly has surfaced.
A metro Detroit group is planning to protest outside of R. Kelly‘s concert at Little Caesars Arena Wednesday night, where the Chicago native is slated to perform with Charlie Wilson as part of their “Tale of Two Kings” tour.
Detroit’s SASHA Center founder, Kalimah Johnson told WXYZ-TV the protest will be to #MuteRKelly— a reference to the hashtag co-created by Kenyette Barnes— saying “his rape culture is not welcome here.” She purports the singer’s years of sexual misconduct allegations should disqualify him from performing at the arena, which is partially taxpayer funded.
“Our city is still healing from thousands of untested rape kits. We’re No. 2 in human trafficking. How can we let someone who has sexual misconduct allegations … with young children, with young, black girls perform here?” protest organizer and associate director of Wayne County SAFE Nicole Denson told Detroit Free Press. The Detroit nonprofit provides comprehensive services and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual assault.
“How can we let this happen in the #MeToo movement, when there are so many people being held accountable?” she continued. “How can we sit here and let R. Kelly perform here in our city? What does this say about how we value little black girls?”
John says the driving force behind the protest stems from R. Kelly’s lengthy history of sexual assault and predatory behavior, including his 1994 marriage to then 15-year-old singer Aaliyah, and his child pornography charges from 2002.
In July of 2017, Buzzfeed published an extensive report detailing allegations that Kelly lead a cult-like environment within his Georgia homes where he engaged in sexual relationships with several women ages 19-31 in an arrangement where he controls them, manipulates them and cuts off their contact with the outside world.
Kelly has denied involvement in these allegations.
The protest’s organizers have called on the show’s promoter, New Day Entertainment, and the radio sponsor, 105.9 Kiss-FM (WDMK), to cancel it.
New Day Entertainment’s Quentin Perry reportedly declined to comment about the protest but told Detroit Free Press, “You know, what they’ve got against R. Kelly has got nothing to do with us.”