Philadelphia’s city council has banned R. Kelly from their city in a symbolic ruling made weeks after Lifetime levied multiple claims of sexual abuse and misconduct in its six-part docuseries.
KYW-TV reported that the city council unanimously approved Councilwoman Helen Gym’s “Mute R. Kelly” resolution, which was introduced in late January. Backlash against the singer is at an all-time high in light of “Surviving R. Kelly,” where he was accused of sexually exploiting young girls—and even holding them captive in his homes.
“We reject a system that silences black women and accepts black pain,” Gym wrote on Twitter. “We believe survivors. R. Kelly is not welcome in Philadelphia. This symbolic act of solidarity puts all sexual predators on notice.”
— Helen Gym (@HelenGymAtLarge) January 31, 2019
Since the latest resolution is symbolic, Kelly, 52, wouldn’t face arrest or prosecution if he entered Philadelphia.
Atlanta-based activists Oronike Odeleye and Kenyette Barnes started #MuteRKelly last year. Amid the #MeToo movement and “Surviving,” many have pushed for Kelly to be completely ostracised from the music industry.
The city council’s vote comes weeks after Sony dropped the “I Wish” singer from its music label and subsidiary, RCA Records. Sources told Variety at the time that label execs took their time to “responsibly” assess the allegations against Kelly as they wanted to avoid legal repercussions.
Kelly has never been convicted of a sex crime and has previously denied all claims of sexual misconduct. With those allegations back into the limelight, a source told TMZ that Kelly plans to sue everyone who contributed to the docuseries.
[Featured image: R. Kelly/AP Photo/Frank Franklin II]