Credo Action

Tell RCA Records: Drop sexual predator R. Kelly now

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The petition to RCA Records reads:

"Drop sexual predator R. Kelly now."

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    Tell RCA Records: Drop sexual predator R. Kelly now

    For decades, multiple Black girls and young women have accused R&B singer R. Kelly of sexually abusing them. Yet, their calls for accountability have been ignored by law enforcement, record labels and other corporations promoting and profiting from his music.

    That ends now. The docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly" has brought national attention to the stories of Black women who survived Kelly's abuse.1 We need to stand with survivors now to make sure they get the justice they deserve. Joining our friends at Color Of Change and UltraViolet to demand that RCA Records immediately drop Kelly is an important step.

    Tell RCA Records: Drop sexual predator R. Kelly now

    Kelly has a long-documented record of coercing and sexually manipulating Black girls. He has been sued multiple times for inappropriate sexual contact with minors, illegally married a 15-year-old when he was 27 and was put on trial for 14 counts of child pornography in 2008.2 Despite all of this, Kelly has never faced legal or financial consequences for his crimes. In fact, RCA Records has made millions marketing Kelly as a sex symbol, allowing him to brand himself as "the Pied Piper" after the fairytale character who used music to lure children away from their parents.

    While RCA Records is certainly enabling Kelly by promoting his music and sick brand, we know that it takes a village to protect a sexual abuser. Even before "Surviving R. Kelly" aired on television, survivors fought to hold him accountable.3 When law enforcement refused to help, they turned to the public and the media. Still, many people did not believe them. This is a systemic problem.

    Nearly 60 percent of Black girls are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18.4 A recent Georgetown University study showed that adults in the United States see Black girls as more sexually mature and less innocent than white girls.5 This perpetuates a culture that ignores Black girls' and women's stories, experiences and pain – and where abusers get away with hurting them. We must do everything we can to fight these racist assumptions and end this dangerous cycle.

    As progressives, we must stand with Black women, make it clear that believing survivors means believing all survivors and fight to hold their assailants accountable.

    Hundreds of thousands of CREDO members have called on corporations to drop misogynists and racists like Bill O'Reilly and Tucker Carlson. Now we need to use the same grassroots pressure to call out RCA Records for promoting and enabling a known sexual predator and demand that it stop now.

    Tell RCA Records: Drop sexual predator R. Kelly now

    Thank you for standing with survivors.

    References:

    1. Jacey Fortin, "'Surviving R. Kelly' Documentary on Lifetime Details Sex Abuse Accusations," The New York Times, Jan. 4, 2019.
    2. Constance Grady, "Sexual misconduct allegations against R. Kelly spanning 25 years, in one timeline," Vox, Jan. 7, 2019.
    3. Constance Grady, "A bombshell story alleges R. Kelly is holding women against their will in an abusive cult," Vox, July, 17, 2017.
    4. Britt Middleton, "Study: 60 Percent of Black Females Are Sexually Abused Before They Turn 18," BET, Dec. 7, 2011.
    5. Jonita Davis, "A study found adults see black girls as ‘less innocent,’ shocking everyone but black moms," The Washington Post, July 13, 2017.
    6. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images