Several activists have called on radio stations to stop playing R. Kelly’s music after numerous sexual abuse allegations. Tom Joyner is listening.
Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, recently made an appearance on Jacque Reid’s “Inside Her Story,” a segment of Joyner’s show.
During her interview, she explained why she believes listening to his music is problematic. She thinks it does little to support the victims of sexual abuse.
“There is a lot of work happening but we need help,” Burke said. “We need ‘The Tom Joyner Morning Show’ to stop supporting R. Kelly. That’s one of the things that would help.”
Joyner replied, “Okay, you got it. I’ll do that right now. I won’t play anymore R. Kelly music.”
Burke thanked the host and continued to express her thoughts about the work needed to push the movement forward.
“We have to question what is more valuable, the lives and livelihood and wholeness and healthiness of Black women and girls or some music? It’s not just about playing his music; it’s about supporting him in ways that keep him wealthy so that he can continue to prey on Black women.”
Although Kelly has denied allegations of sexual misconduct and violence against women over the last several years, he has been accused of many crimes, including a claim that he “knowingly and intentionally” gave a 19-year-old an STD.
A 2017 BuzzFeed article said the Grammy-winning artist “held women against their will in a cult” at his homes in two cities, including one in metro Atlanta, which he dismissed.
Kelly’s attorney at the time, Linda Mensch, sent a statement to the AJC refuting the claims in Buzzfeed.
“Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him,” the statement said. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
In April 2018, Mensch and Kelly’s assistant resigned from their positions after working with the entertainer for years.
In 2008, he was acquitted on 14 charges of making child pornography.