The Soulqaurius festival created a ton of excitement over the weekend once the packed lineup was released. The R&B-leaning festival has a star-laden lineup that includes the likes of Erykah Badu, Jhene Aiko, The Internet, Pretty Ricky (!!), The-Dream and many more. But there’s one performer whose name appears to have fans upset with the inclusion: R. Kelly.
According to a new petition filed on Change.org, potential festival-goers want the R&B singer removed from the show’s lineup due to history of sexual assault accusations that have been leveled at him over the years. “Despite an endless flood of abuse allegations and widespread knowledge of his notorious ‘romance’ with the late singer Aaliyah, who was age 15 to his 27 years, Kelly has maintained a relatively successful career,” the petition reads. “It’s this sort of nonchalance and casual embrace of abusers that rests at the fulcrum of rape culture, violence against women, and in this case, misogynoir.”
The petitioners reference a lengthy, published timeline of the accusations against Kelly as further proof.
In the past, Kelly has said he saw nothing wrong with his relationship with Aaliyah. “Absolutely not,” he once told GQ. “That’s my answer forever: Absolutely not.” In 2008, he was acquitted on 14 felony counts, including child pornography, in his Chicago hometown. Years later, he asserted the allegations against him stemmed from his fame. “If I wasn’t a celebrity, people wouldn’t be saying these things about me,” he said in a 2015 interview.
Soulqaurius is a new R&B musical festival set to take place in Santa Ana, California on February 18, 2017. Check out the event’s flyer below and visit the event’s official site for additional details.