R. Kelly has been in the spotlight for quite some time now, recently regarding sexual abuse allegations towards him by many women over the span of 20 years. On March 9, he sat down with CBS news co-host Gayle King to discuss these claims. His behavior was anything but calm, possibly giving more insight into the man behind the allegations.
R. Kelly, an American singer, songwriter and producer, was indicted for ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four underage women over the span of 12 years. However, there are more women who have come forward and accused Kelly of sexual abuse. There have been allegations that he has beaten, starved and held women hostage. In 2002, Kelly was indicted on 21 accounts of child pornography. Seven were eventually dropped. If he was convicted, he would have faced up to 15 years in prison. Six years after being indicted, he went to trial and was later able to walk away.
During his interview with King, Kelly was in a rage. He said in the interview, “I’m cool. I’m good. I’m not afraid because I’m telling the truth. I’m not afraid because I’m telling the truth!” He denies sexually abusing any women and being a child predator. I think despite his continual denial, it is important to believe women and hold men in power accountable for their actions, no matter who they are. This is not an issue that should be taken lightly and justice must be served to the women who have experienced any abuse by this man.
This information is angering because men have been more than able to walk away from situations like this without any harm being done to their reputation or careers. The artist’s awards, accolades and their significance in the world are always acknowledged first. Yes, they may have had an impact, but what does that matter considering the pain that they have caused other people? I think this interview will determine whether his reputation will suffer more than it already has.
In my opinion, from what I have seen in the media and on the internet, his reputation has not actually suffered in the way that it should. Of course, people are making memes of the interview and it has become a joke to the internet, but his records are still selling in spite of everything. Why? Because a lot of people are still debating on whether you can “separate the artist from the art.” The idea of trying to separate the artist from the art is one I cannot agree with. Artists put a lot of their experiences and thoughts towards subjects in their music, which is why I do not think separating them from their work is possible.
However, the public reaction to the interview was explosive. Many people took to various forms of social media to voice their opinions, condemning him and his behavior. I think this interview was a step forward for people to see how abusers, even those who have some sort of “significance” in the world, demand sympathy where there should not be any.