"RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R Kelly" read the banner flying over the Los Angeles offices of RCA and Sony on Friday. It's the latest escalation in a growing protest movement to force record label RCA and corporate parent Sony to cut ties with Kelly, after repeated reports of predatory behavior and sexual abuse.
R. Kelly is a serial sexual predator who's gotten away with abusing Black women and girls (yes, teen girls) for decades.— UltraViolet (@UltraViolet) January 4, 2019
Add your name to demand RCA records drop R. Kelly once and for all:https://t.co/BUyP4wcYPC#SurvivingRKelly #MuteRKelly
The banner was sponsored by by UltraViolet. a non-profit focused on women's equality and fighting to end violence against women. Karin Roland, the organization's chief campaigns officer, said in a statement:
"It is long past time for RCA to dump R Kelly and take a stand against abuse. Their inaction is beyond shameful. RCA can no longer pretend that R. Kelly's music can be separated from his violent actions. Kelly uses his fame, musical talent, fortune, and standing in the music industry to lure in and abuse young Black girls. Even some of his songs are literally inspired by the abuses he has perpetrated.
Kelly has been able to get away with his years of abuse precisely because his victims are young Black girls who face even more barriers to justice than their white peers. Sixty percent of Black women are sexually abused by age 18, but their abuse is written off because of harmful racial stereotypes that paint Black women and girls as more sexually promiscuous and aggressive than young white girls. We must believe and support Black survivors of sexual violence. It is time all of us work alongside the amazing Black women organizers calling out R. Kelly and his enablers to ensure justice."
The organization has also launched a petition to pressure the label.
"Big names are demanding accountability for Kelly, including Ava DuVernay, John Legend, and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke," reads the petition. "If thousands of us join them, we can put RCA Records over the edge, and help secure the justice Black girls are often denied."
Sign the petition here.