5 days after the Lifetime channel aired the last episode of Surviving R Kelly, the documentary series has become a hot topic of discussion not only in America but also other parts of the world. From major news networks like CNN to YouTube channels and online forums, everyone is weighing in with their opinions.
Over a period spanning nearly three decades, talented RnB superstar Robert Kelly has faced consistent accusations of being a pedophile. However, the charges have remarkably failed to stick. From evidence of his marriage to the late Aaliyah at only 15 years of age, and videos showing him in compromising sexual situations with underage girls, he has somehow escaped legal repercussions.
In the aftermath of every accusation, he has gone ahead to release huge hits. No one doubts R Kelly's musical genius. After all, he's responsible for releasing classics such as When a woman's fed up, Ignition-the remix, I believe I can fly, you saved me, step in the name of love among many others. He has also written huge hits for famous musicians such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Huston and Luther Vandross.
However, the sexual allegations against him have persisted. His record labels have been accused of being complicit. For the labels, so long as Kelly is producing hit songs and bringing them money, they don't care what he does with his private life. Other artists have also refused to confront Kelly, perhaps because he's collaborated with most of them in successful projects.
Things started changing with the founding of the #MeToo movement. MeToo has brought down many formerly powerful men accused of using their positions to sexually abuse women. Some of these men include Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Leslie Moonves and Bill O'Reilly. Buoyed by the success of #MeToo, a group of activists started the #MuteRKelly hashtag, specifically targeted at the singer.
The goal is to hurt Kelly financially, by shaming his business partners into dropping him. So far, some radio stations have stopped playing his songs. Streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music have also stopped recommending his songs or including them in playlists. Several of his concerts have been canceled.
This latest documentary has only poured fuel to the fire, making the debate go viral. Will R Kelly survive this time round? Let's wait and see.
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