Chrissy Teigen, Octavia Spencer, Omarion, Ne-Yo and Jada Pinkett Smith are among the many speaking out after "Surviving R. Kelly" resurfaces the #MuteRKelly movement.
UPDATED 6:43 a.m. on 1/11/19:
Nick Cannon has weighed in on the discussion that has erupted in wake of Lifetime's "Surviving R. Kelly" laying out the web of allegations surrounding the R&B star.
The "Masked Singer" host, who is also a musical artist and collaborated with R. Kelly on his 2003 hit "Gigolo," admitted, "I’ve DEFINITELY turned a blind eye to a lot of darkness in this industry."
In a lengthy Instagram post he continued, "Let’s stop beating around the bush and call it what it is. This entire industry was established and built by evil and predatorily spirits and male chauvinistic behavior."
But instead of just focusing on Kelly for allegedly mistreating women throughout his career, Cannon took aim at a bunch of powerful men in the entertainment industry while apologizing to "QUEENS" and vowing to become an ally instead of part of the problem.
"And since the recent media outrage pertaining to @RKELLY I have realized that the REAL issue at hand is the ultimate lack of care and disrespect for our QUEENS," he wrote. "For far too long we have treated women like second class citizens, when in actuality they are the source, our core, and the Superior beings. But our insecurities, Egos, and lack of love has tried to prove otherwise. Therefore we have SEVERAL cases where we allow entertainers, executives, and every day individuals abuse and mistreat our life bearers and beautiful equals."
"It is no secret how men have misused their power to manipulate young emerging pop stars to seasoned hollywood actresses and everyone in between. I have personally witnessed it and will no longer be silent about it. It’s not dry snitching, it’s a paradigm shift," he continued. "I’m not judging ANY man for his past or his private actions because I too am a guilty sinner of the blatant disrespect even in some of the statements in the song above."
"But From Individuals like Les Moonves, Harvey Weinstein, Steven Tyler, R. Kelly, Elvis and others, I must say we have to deal with this sickness head on. The real leaders and Bosses must step up and be MEN," he concluded. "And I will be one of the first to say on behalf of all men, I am Sorry. Please consider an advocate, ally and student that needs guidance in an industry that was designed to take advantage of women. Let’s change it ALL immediately. And call it all to the table for our ignorance, wrong doings and disrespect. I apologize my Queens."
TooFab has reached out to Tyler's representatives for comment and will update this post if they respond.
Cannon is likely referencing Tyler's own admission to having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl in the mid '70s. Julia Holcomb detailed their relationship in a 2011 essay, and Tyler also wrote about it in his memoir.
View this post on Instagram
#TBT After much self reflection and meditation, I have to be one of the first to admit that in my past I’ve DEFINITELY turned a blind eye to a lot of darkness in this industry. Let’s stop beating around the bush and call it what it is. This entire industry was established and built by evil and predatorily spirits and male chauvinistic behavior. And since the recent media outrage pertaining to @RKELLY I have realized that the REAL issue at hand is the ultimate lack of care and disrespect for our QUEENS. For far too long we have treated women like second class citizens, when in actuality they are the source, our core, and the Superior beings. But our insecurities, Egos, and lack of love has tried to prove otherwise. Therefore we have SEVERAL cases where we allow entertainers, executives, and every day individuals abuse and mistreat our life bearers and beautiful equals. It is no secret how men have misused their power to manipulate young emerging pop stars to seasoned hollywood actresses and everyone in between. I have personally witnessed it and will no longer be silent about it. It’s not dry snitching, it’s a paradigm shift. I’m not judging ANY man for his past or his private actions because I too am a guilty sinner of the blatant disrespect even in some of the statements in the song above. But From Individuals like Les Moonves, Harvey Weinstein, Steven Tyler, R. Kelly, Elvis and others, I must say we have to deal with this sickness head on. The real leaders and Bosses must step up and be MEN! And I will be one of the first to say on behalf of all men, I am Sorry. Please consider an advocate, ally and student that needs guidance in an industry that was designed to take advantage of women. Let’s change it ALL immediately. And call it all to the table for our ignorance, wrong doings and disrespect. I apologize my Queens.
UPDATED 11:28 a.m. on 1/10/19:
Future has addressed R. Kelly, but his position is starkly different from other celebrity responses we've seen so far.
When the rap artist was asked for his feelings on the situation on Power 106’s "The Cruz Show" this week, he said people actually should stop talking about the R&B icon who has been accused of sexual assault and abuse by multiple women. "We’re giving it too much attention. When you give things too much attention, they blow up," he said.
He's also not surprised by the increase in consumption of R. Kelly's music, and argued people will stop listening to it if people stop talking about him so much.
"That’s why his music gon’ do what it did ’cause y’all keep talking about it. Stop talking about it—it’ll go away," he said.
"I don’t know what it is. It’s just too many people talking about it," he added. "I think behind the scenes, there’s supposed to be things done how they supposed to be done, and stop giving negative attention attention."
UPDATED 6:36 a.m. on 1/10/19:
Chance The Rapper -- who appeared in an episode and said his quote was "taken out of context" (see below) -- tweeted the following message:
"In the past two days, I've heard too many stories of domestic abuse, sexual violence and rape perpetrated by people I called friends. I am ashamed of y'all. These stories will be amplified, and your victims will receive the justice they deserve."
On her Instagram Story, Lady Gaga captioned a lengthy post, "I stand behind anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault of violence. Period." She apologized for collaborating with R. Kelly on the 2013 song, "Do What U Want," and said she would be working toward removing the track from iTunes and other streaming services.
Last week, executive producer Dream Hampton revealed a long list of celebrities who allegedly turned down the opportunity to appear in the docuseries. Lady Gaga was on the list.
"I stand behind these women 1000 percent, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously. What I am hearing about the allegations against R. Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible. As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the song and video at a dark time in my life. My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn't processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life. The song called, 'Do What U Want (With My Body),' I think it's clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time. If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self, I'd tell her to go through the therapy I have [gone through] since then so that I could understand the confused, post-traumatic state that I was in -- or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation -- to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we're been through."
"I can't go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career. I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. [Until] this happens to you, you don't know how it feels. But I do know how I feel now. I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again. I'm sorry both for my poor judgment when I was young and for not speaking out sooner. I love you."
Cara Delevingne shared a lengthy message on Instagram, posting John Legend's tweet that read, "To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women and don't give a f--k about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision." To Cara, R. Kelly is "far worse than Harvey Weinstein" because "Harvey is being investigated and R. Kelly is not."
"I finished the 'Surviving R. Kelly' documentary last night, and I am so shocked and outraged at how long this has gone on. My heart goes out to all the victims of his emotional and physical abuse and their families. This man is a predator that feeds [off] power and, in my opinion, is far worse than Harvey Weinstein and needs to be held accountable. I am not trying to compare the two. My point is, Harvey is being investigated and R. Kelly is not. We have ourselves to blame in this situation. I knew of the allegations but failed to try and understand the severity of the situation. I still continued to listen to his music. Stop separating art from the artist. Just because he sings like an angel, doesn't mean he is one. I still want to applaud @johnlegend @keke @vincestaples @chancetherapper @jadapinkettsmith @ladygaga for continuing the conversation. I really hope that more musicians stand up against this monster #MuteRKelly #MeToo #BlackGirlsLivesMatter."
UPDATED 2:53 p.m. on 1/9/19:
"I was there, and my former wife Tina was there. The thing with R Kelly was, he liked to record late at night, around midnight. And what was different with his studio was that one room had a recording suite, and next door was a club, with 40 or 50 people dancing. R. Kelly was managed by Sony, by someone I won’t name, and at that time, they would almost force you to record with [their] artists. And R. Kelly wasn't cheap -- it was $75,000, plus travel costs, so we're talking $100,000 for a song. I personally rejected the song, because I didn't think it was a good song. Not just because of [his] reputation -- this was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things."
When Metro asked Mathew if the R. Kelly rumors played a role in his future decisions, he said, "certainly, it was both of those things."
"The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes."
UPDATED 6:30 a.m. on 1/9/19:
"Just finished Surviving R. Kelly and I have spent the last hour crying. As a student of R. Kelly’s for the time I was and having been around his light and understanding the obstacles he overcame as a child to actually be birthed into the musical genius he is today... All to put others through the same darkness he was running from is the most disheartening thing to accept. Many people experience hardships and do not allow themselves to find freedom through their passion enough to shine a light. R. Kelly received that grace from God. God blessed him to vindicate his childhood shortcomings and yet still he has slapped God in the face by his actions towards these women. I am hurt and saddened because he could have been a blessing to these women but instead he repeatedly took advantage and that I can not accept. I will stand by my sisters because that's simply what’s right and what I hope discontinues this behavior in anyone. We have to be good to each other, not all of us accept the light but those of us that do must be responsible!!!! We can not take advantage of each other or accept when someone else does."
UPDATED 8:17 a.m. on 1/7/19:
The famous wife of John Legend, who appeared in "Surviving R. Kelly," has also just hopped aboard the #MuteRKelly movement on Twitter.
Chrissy Teigen tweeted, "I just finished it as well. Proud of john but so in awe of the strength and courage of the women involved, who survived and told their stories. I wish I could be as eloquent as John but - fuck R Kelly. #MuteRKelly"
The outrage from Lifetime's "Surviving R. Kelly" docuseries was extremely vocal on social media over the weekend, as fellow recording artists, TV personalities and actors all took a stand against the performer after the special's troubling allegations.
While allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse with women and underage girls have plagued Kelly for years, he has continued to deny everything and has never been convicted of any wrongdoing. The singer threatened to sue Lifetime if they aired the series, but the network did not back down. According to TMZ, Kelly was "disgusted" by the series, which he didn't watch.
The first two hours on Thursday night covered Kelly's upbringing through the mid-'90s, offering unsettling stories from women speaking out about their alleged experiences with the "Pied Piper of R&B." On Friday, it was all about his child pornography trial, before Saturday night's final two installments focused on singer's alleged "sex cult."
See our full breakdowns for all three nights here:
As each new episode aired, a number of high-profile stars joined the #MuteRKelly movement, going to social media to voice their frustrations with the singer's continued popularity despite the many, many allegations against him.
Omarion posted a lengthy thread of comments on Sunday night, saying he felt "compelled to voice my position" on Kelly since the performer has written songs for B2K. He called out everyone who bore witness "to the unthinkable and yet have remained silent" and saying "those responsible must be held accountable." While B2K will continue to play songs written by Kelly on their already-announced tour, Omarion promised to retire them from his set list for good after.
As an artist & a champion of the arts, I am moved to share my position on #SurvivingRKelly which I haven’t seen but felt compelled to voice my position on this very serious issue since #rkelly has written songs for #B2K.— OMARION (@Omarion) January 7, 2019
It’s important first to ACKNOWLEDGE that this has been an ugly truth in our industry for years and as opposed to dismissing it’s existence | its time to discuss it. EVERYONE has to be RESPONSIBLE. Many have bared witness to the unthinkable and yet have remained silent.— OMARION (@Omarion) January 7, 2019
Those responsible must be held accountable. #rkelly was both a victim & a predator & accordingly must be held accountable but also get professional help. His artistic genius inspired us all. His music is being muted by the darkness of his actions. The dark always comes to light.— OMARION (@Omarion) January 7, 2019
I pray that everyone effected by this tragedy gets the help & support they need to live a better life. When you know better , you do better.— OMARION (@Omarion) January 7, 2019
While I know our fans would be greatly disappointed if we didn’t perform those songs on #TheMillennoumTour , after the tour I am retiring those songs from my set list . I too am raising a future queen. #A.A.R.T.— OMARION (@Omarion) January 7, 2019
(Artists Acknowledging Responsibility & Truth) Peace y’all. ~O
Jada Pinkett Smith expressed confusion in the spike in his music since the special began, asking her followers to explain why this was happening. "I really don't want to believe it's because black girls don't matter enough, or is that the reason?" she asked. She promised to continue the conversation on Wednesday, January 9 on Facebook.
While Chance the Rapper appeared on the series, he said his quote on the show was "taken out of context." During one episode, he said, "Maybe I didn't care because I didn't value the accusers' stories because they were black women." After the show aired, he tweeted, "the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls." He also apologized to the survivors.
Other stars who spoke out included Ne-Yo, Tank, Meek Mill, Kathy Griffin, Yvette Nicole Brown, Sunny Hostin, John Legend (who appeared on the special) and JoJo, who thanked her parents from keeping her away from him when she was a young girl in the industry.
See all their reactions below:
We cannot ignore these women and their stories. #TimesUp on R. Kelly. - But also... PLEASE take care of yourself. Take care of your heart. And your soul. If you are triggered by what you see and hear, call a friend. And remember that you are not alone. You are NEVER alone. - Please tune in to the premiere of #SurvivingRKelly on @LifetimeTV TONIGHT at 9/8. Don’t miss this important 3 night event. #MuteRKelly
Octavia Spencer also re-posted Kerry's Instagram post, adding, "In solidarity with my sisters."
Man after seeing the surviving R Kelly if I had a daughter I would never post her pic. She can’t go outside nothing lol. My dad was so strict we couldn’t spend night at no body house. He did not play. My heart goes out to those girls cause the grown ups supposed to know better.— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) January 7, 2019
To know that many men I’ve known throughout my career (women too, no doubt, but overwhelmingly more men 🤷♀️) worked so closely with R. Kelly and KNEW and in some cases SAW the abuse going on + told stories about this stuff in studio sessions like it was funny...— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
... and nobody came forward? seems like many continued 2make money off of him and stick around, thus condoning his disgusting predatory ways. Were they sticking around for more “ridiculous Robert Kelly stories” they could tell in private studio sessions later down the line?— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
... the R Kelly stories I’ve heard in sessions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
Many of these stories I was hearing when I, myself, was wayyyy underage. Making my first couple albums at 12 and then 14/15. I was a HUGEEEEE R Kelly fan, came from a broken home, had daddy issues, and wondered... how did these girls get chosen? I wondered if I could/would be.— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
so so thankful 2have had my mom by my side (THANK U MOM I LOVE U MADLY) who 1- never left me alone for a second until I turned 18, 2- never let me work w R Kelly when I begged her to 3- never let me get too close to other predatory men who wanted to do who-knows-what to me— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
Becuase, if I didn’t have her, I could have easily fallen victim to someone like R Kelly. Period.— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
I feel DEEPLY for these COURAGEOUS QUEENS who come forward and in some cases risk their lives 2share their story &let others know they’re not alone!!!! Going up against powerful people/ entities fucking intimidating/ terrifying.— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
Im sure it’s way easier SAID than DONE to come forward when you see some wild shit going on right in front of you... but COME THE HELL ON. When dealing w child abuse can it become a reflex!???? SHIT!— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
We must acknowledge that today, in America, the color of a person’s skin + their/ their families socio-economic standing either ensures or denies them protection. Some people’s stories are prioritized & believed over others. Some are blamed & victim-shamed.— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
There are patterns. Do you see? This is unacceptable. #SurvivingRKelly— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 5, 2019
I lot of artists, song writers, producers, record execs, etc are very confused as to how to respond to what they’ve seen and heard. We’ve all been inspired by this man. We’ve all been witnesses to his musical genius. We have shaped and molded talent we sign after his musical image. We’ve invested so much of ourselves into this man that it’s hard for us to let go. I no longer have that issue. I whole heartedly apologize for not coming to this realization sooner. I CANOT separate the music from the monster! My 3 black daughters won’t let me. What hurts even more are the facilitators around him. His team, his record company, the promoters, the radio stations! There has to be a line drawn. Enough has to be enough at some point. Who are we saying is worth protecting if we let this continue? I choose the lives of these young black girls! I’m sick to my stomach! Let me also say this! There are more men guilty of these crimes! Lets make sure none of them slip through the cracks every again! You are no king because kings don’t treat queens like this! #RnBMoney #TheGeneral
It don’t take a rocket scientist to see what was going on.... what I’m tryna figure out why did they let it go on soooooo long!— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 5, 2019
I think white people are afraid to speak out against R Kelly because they fear it will make them appear to be racist. Many, many females of all ages still blame the girls, for various psychologically fucked up reasons. It drives me crazy #MuteRKelly https://t.co/twYb5bRuhW— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 7, 2019
3 things:— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) January 6, 2019
I have not listened to a #RKelly song since the tape of him violating the young girl first surfaced.
I watched #SurvivingRKelly out of respect for the survivors.
I am sick & saddened to realize that so many folks still support that monster & his music. #MuteRKelly
Been watching the 6 part docuseries #SurvivingRKellly on @lifetimetv as well as wiping from every device every R Kelly song I could find. Now figuring out how to use my law degree and years of prosecutorial sex crimes experience to help. #MuteRKelly— Sunny Hostin (@sunny) January 6, 2019
We should all thank my friend @dreamhampton for her very necessary work to create #SurvivingRKelly. These survivors deserved to be lifted up and heard. I hope it gets them closer to some kind of justice.— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 4, 2019
To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women and don't give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 4, 2019
Also I'm happy to support the work of people like my friends at @ALongWalkHome who have been speaking out on behalf of the survivors for a long time.— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 4, 2019
Whats so hurtful about #survivingRKelley is the feeling that nobody cared about what was/is being done to Black women & Girls as long as the music 🎵 plays on. This sickness is not our fault. We do not deserve this, ever. We deserve more love, more respect and we deserve better!— sheryl lee ralph (@thesherylralph) January 6, 2019