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1 May 2018, 13:03
A #MuteRKelly campaign has been backed by the Times Up movement this week.
The Women of Color branch of Hollywood's Time’s Up movement have publicly backed the #MuteRKelly campaign, which urges record labels, promoters, ticket sellers and streaming services to cut ties with the singer.
Famous figures including Lupita Nyong'o, John Legend and Kerry Washington have all voiced their support for the movement online.
Today we join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on safety & dignity for all women. We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women of color & their families for over two decades now. #WOC #TIMESUPhttps://t.co/CG7Y5ZmKyR— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) 30 April 2018
In response to the campaign, Kelly's team issued a statement claiming that the singer "supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement," before labelling the campaign "unjust and off-target."
"Soon it will become clear Mr. Kelly is the target of a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time."
The statement goes on to shockingly compare the outcry following Kelly's accusations to the public lynching of black men and women.
"Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it," reads the statement.
"We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture."
R. Kelly's team responds to #MuteRKelly: "R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals ... we will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man" pic.twitter.com/ByC9SR0vtD— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) 30 April 2018
Kelly has a lengthy history of sexual misconduct allegations made against him.
Last year, BuzzFeed News published a report which outlined explosive allegations that accused the 'Ignition' singer of holding a number of women against their will in a "cult"-like environment and manipulating their lives.