It Is Time Justice is Served For R. Kelly

The R&B singer showed his guilt in latest interview

R. Kelly was recently jailed for failure to pay child support

Photo Attribution/Wikimedia Commons/Ethan Burke

R. Kelly was recently jailed for failure to pay child support

Jewel Antoine, Contributing Writer

Prior to 2019, when one would think of R. Kelly — famous R&B star and pop culture icon — they would be reminded of his contributions to R&B. However, Kelly’s public image has not always been as great as some of his music. Allegations of Kelly’s numerous inappropriate sexual relationships with young girls — most notably with late R&B singer Aaliyah — have been public knowledge since the 90’s. He has since been acquitted of child pornography charges and has settled lawsuits outside of court. Yet his music career has continued to flourish. That was until his performative interview with CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King ruined his chances of ever being appreciated for his music again.

This interview was an attempt to clean up the R&B singer’s tarnished image but instead, it uncovered his manipulative tendencies.

In January 2019, Lifetime released a docu-series entitled “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which the personal stories of Kelly’s various victims from a span of several years are told. The survivors range from Kelly’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, to many other women who were mentored by Kelly in their early to late teens. The docu-series created a social media frenzy, and the “Mute R.Kelly” campaign came about in full effect.

As a result, R. Kelly sat down with King for an interview in an attempt to clear his name. The interview consisted of several emotional outbursts, in which Kelly yelled, pounded his chest and stormed off the set.

He claimed that he is completely innocent and is only guilty of having a “big heart.” He also said that the public is “killing him” and that he has been “assassinated” by the media.             

This interview was Kelly’s last and, quite frankly, futile attempt at controlling the narrative about himself since the release of the docu-series and the resulting outrage. The interview itself felt like a poorly written performance and Kelly’s emotional “outbursts”  elt pre-planned and inauthentic.

His inability to acknowledge any sort of wrongdoing, as well as his repeated attempts to discredit the stories of the numerous women who have raised accusations against him show that Kelly’s purpose for sitting down with King was to gain public sympathy and play the role of the victim.

However, what Kelly fails to realize is that even though society is still working on its method of handling sexual assault and how it treats victims of rape and abuse, we live in a very different social climate than what was in effect during the 90’s.

The #MeToo movement has given victims  the strength to stand up to their abusers and come forward with their stories. The accusations against him will not be swept under the rug this time.

We still stand with and protect these girls, and regardless of his antics. Kelly will face the consequences of his actions in the court of public opinion and hopefully, these young women will finally get the justice that they deserve.