See the full statement from Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym on R Kelly. Give me your thought on this statement on R Kelly and the #MuteRKelly movement:
Councilmember Helen Gym: “R. Kelly is Not Welcome in Philadelphia”
A resolution introduced by Councilmember Helen Gym supports the #MuteRKelly movement and its demands to deny R. Kelly a platform
PHILADELPHIA—Today Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym (At-Large) introduced a resolution honoring the #MuteRKelly movement and endorsing its demands to deny the singer a public platform.
Survivors have charged R. Kelly with abuse, statutory rape, and child pornography since the mid-1990s, in court and in the public sphere. Despite a documented history of abuse of young Black girls, R. Kelly had not been held accountable and continued to grow and profit in his career.
Following a July 2017 Buzzfeed report that R. Kelly incarcerated women against their will and created a human trafficking ring, Kenyette Barnes and Oronike Odeleye organized to cancel his concert in Atlanta and created the #MuteRKelly movement—a nationwide, grassroots movement led by Black women.
"Since its inception, the #MuteRKelly Movement has set out to hold Robert Sylvester Kelly (‘R. Kelly’), accountable for his over 30-year history of sexual abuse against young Black women and girls,” said Kenyette Barnes and Oronike Odeleye, organizers of #MuteRKelly. “We stand steadfast to our mission to support survivors and demand accountability and prosecution."
Since then, #MuteRKelly has grown to 12 chapters worldwide and successfully cancelled concerts in 11 cities and organized 10 protests. It’s estimated that R. Kelly lost $1.7 million in revenue due to the work of #MuteRKelly. In 2017, Georgia’s Fulton County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to request the cancellation of an R. Kelly concert and pursue charges against the singer.
“I am here to support the work and struggle of Black women and all women who are fighting against patriarchy and rape culture. For too long, R. Kelly and predators like him have relied on all of us to turn our backs on Black women and girls,” said Councilmember Helen Gym (At-Large). “The system has failed Black children and women.”
“This resolution honors the heroic work of survivors who have created a national movement to erase, mute, and banish predators. We must reject a system that silences Black women and accepts Black pain. R. Kelly is not welcome in Philadelphia. We believe survivors.” said Councilmember Gym.
“I want to thank my daughter, Brielle Brown, for bringing the heinous acts of music artist R. Kelly to my attention through the recent groundbreaking Lifetime documentary,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown. “I am thrilled that law enforcement officials across the country are revisiting multiple cases to determine whether R. Kelly can be prosecuted for his crimes. I encourage all Philadelphians to reject R. Kelly, his music, and his example in our public and private spaces.”
Studies show that Black girls are perceived to be more adult-like and less innocent than white girls, contributing to the oversexualization of young Black girls and the belief that they need less nurturing and less protection than other children. Black women are more likely to suffer sexual and domestic violence than other women, and are less likely to report abuse.
The resolution is cosponsored by Councilmembers Blondell Reynolds Brown (At-Large), Cherelle Parker (9th District), Allan Domb (At-Large), Derek Green (At-Large), and Al Taubenberger (At-Large).