Following recent reports that R. Kelly has apparently been keeping young women captive in an abusive “sex cult,” a petition has been circulated by concerned music fans who want to see his label take action against the tarnished Chicago R&B legend and drop him from their roster.
The Care2 petition acknowledges R. Kelly’s illegal marriage to a then-15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994 as well as his 2002 indictment “on 14 counts of child pornography,” pointing to these incidents along with the current scandal as evidence of a pattern of predatory behavior, stating that Kelly has been “habitually preying on teenage girls for the past 25 years.” The petition also calls out Dr. Luke, who is also (somehow) still signed to Sony, after his protege, singer Kesha, accused him of sexual and physical abuse and filed suit obtain her release from the label.
The disturbing allegations against R. Kelly include accusations leveled against the singer by the parents of the young women that he “confiscates the women’s cell phones, so they cannot contact their friends and family; he gives them new phones that they are only allowed to use to contact him or others with his permission. Kelly films his sexual activities, McGee and Jones said, and shows the videos to men in his circle.” The women’s parents have claimed their daughters have been “brainwashed.”
The petition itself states:
“Despite all of this information being on the public record, Kelly continues to tour, release albums, collaborate with artists like Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga, and be honored at events like BET’s Soul Train Awards. R. Kelly should not profit while he continues to victimize women. We must not let habitual abusers float above justice simply because they are rich and famous. Let’s work together to turn R. Kelly into a symbol for victim’s rights, reminding abusers everywhere that no one is untouchable. Join us in telling Sony to #DropRKelly for habitually preying on teenage girls for the past 25 years!”
It currently has 17,356 supporters, just shy of its stated 18,000 goal. Whether or not Sony actually listens to voices of the signers will likely be determined by just how much they believe R. Kelly’s stardom is worth.