Rapper R. Kelly spent last night in a Cook County jail because he was unable to come up with the $100,000 he needed for bond for his sexual assault allegations with underage girls.
This has been the latest development in Kelly’s legal troubles, and still it seems to only be the tip of the iceberg for the worst that is yet to come.
The Chicago Tribune stated that R. Kelly was held on a $1 million bond for sexual abuse allegations, including one woman and three underage girls in separate attacks over a span of 12 years. This includes video evidence that shows Kelly having sexual relations with a girl who was 14 at the time. As the case has developed, the findings have been shocking and devastating, and the music industry has had a strong reaction in response to it.
According to Fox News, “Some music performers, including Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia and Joe have denounced songs that Kelly created for them. Lady Gaga and Celine Dion removed their duets with Kelly from streaming platforms. Boy band B2K said after their reunion tour that they won’t perform any songs R. Kelly crafted for them including ‘Bump, Bump, Bump,’ the group’s only Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping song.
Last year, Spotify removed his music from its playlists due to the streaming service’s new policy on hate content and hateful conduct. Multiple outlets reported that Sony Music dropped Kelly from its roster this year.”
While the reports of Kelly’s transgressions have been devastating, this display of solidarity against a known abuser is promising from the music community, and is not something we always see in Hollywood.
Take Woody Allen, for example, who has had sexual abuse allegations made against him for years with no repercussions, or Karl Lagerfeld, whose recent death had celebrities taking to social media to celebrate the legend, seemingly forgetting all of the hateful body-shaming he had done over the years.
Streaming services doing their best to stop these abusers from getting play time is a great step in the right direction, but we need to do our part as consumers as well.
We need to make a conscious effort to look into the media that we consume. These actors, musicians and athletes are cashing huge checks because we support their content, and if their actions are harmful or toxic, we have the right to withdraw that support.
It’s time to reevaluate who you’re watching and listening to, and decide whether or not a good album or movie is worth padding the pockets of a sexual offender.