Sexual harassment has been a topic of public discussion more than ever this year, as the #MeToo movement, allegations against Harvey Weinstein and details of Bill Cosby’s misconduct made headlines.
But some women have been asking the same question throughout all of this – where's the public outrage about R Kelly?
Allegations against the entertainer have been around for years, in 2002 he was accused of filming himself having sex with an underage girl – but he was acquitted in 2008 when the case went to trial.
Then in 2017 a woman came forward and said she had been in a sexual relationship with Kelly when she was a teenager, but no criminal charges were filed, according to CNN.
Most recently the media has been speculating wildly after reports from Buzzfeed that Kelly is holding a group of women against their parent's wishes in what is being described as a cult.
Parents told police that their children met Kelly while he was on tour in the US, he showed interest in their children’s music, but they later found themselves unable to convince their daughters to come back home, ‘It was as if she was brainwashed’ said one parent.
Now the Women Of Color group within the Time’s Up movement is encouraging the public to stop supporting R Kelly with a social media post addressed ‘To our fellow women of color’ that read; ‘For too long our community has ignored our pain. The pain we bear is a burden that too many women of color have had to bear for centuries. The wounds run deep.’
The post also lists some of the allegations against R Kelly, throws weight behind the existing #MuteRKelly movement and calls on venues and corporations currently supporting R Kelly to cut ties.
In response Kelly's management has issued a statement, calling Time's Up and Mute R Kelly’s actions an ‘attempted public lynching’.
‘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 -- and in this case, it is 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 continued.
Time is far from being ‘up’ as we know, but this is an encouraging step and show of solidarity that will hopefully go some way towards ensuring alleged victims without a public platform don’t get forgotten.