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Sony Drops R. Kelly After Yet Another Survivor Comes Forward

Let’s stop giving abusers money.

Since the documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly, highlighted accounts and accusations of sexual abuse against the R&B singer, Sony Music has dropped alleged predator R Kelly from the label. This decision comes after even more accusers have stepped forward and many artists have denounced him.

The record label’s representatives have not released a formal statement or comment on the decision. However, RCA Records (under Sony Music) is reportedly cutting ties with R. Kelly and have already removed him as an artist under the label. This is after protests outside its offices, the escalation that followed Surviving R. Kelly, and accusations spanning two decades.

Recently, a plane commissioned by UltraViolet (a women’s organisation) flew over Sony’s LA offices with a sign that read: RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly. This is just one example of many years of public calls for the company to drop him as an artist. R. Kelly (who has been signed to them since the beginning of his career) will no longer be making music with the label, although his back catalogue will remain with the company.

More accusers have come forward since the documentary aired, most recently former Epic Records intern Tracy Sampson, who alleges that R. Kelly sexually abused her from the age of 16. Speaking to NBC, Sampson claims that R. Kelly kissed her when she was underage and after she asked him not to. She filed a lawsuit against R. Kelly after she turned 18, which was settled for $250,000 in 2002: “Like, I didn’t know if this was normal. I didn’t know if this is how adults acted,” says Sampson.

With the #MuteRKelly movement gaining traction, protests have been held, tracks have been pulled off streaming services, many radio stations have stopped playing his music, and certain celebrities have denounced R. Kelly, with some musicians apologising for working with him in the past. Artists who have publicly apologised for working with R. Kelly include Lady Gaga, Chance the Rapper and Nick Cannon.

It certainly took Sony a while to do this, but it does mean that a man with documented sexual misconduct is being denied this particular platform, network and money. Despite still not being convicted, we hope this decision will make it a little more difficult for R. Kelly to continue his alleged behaviour. Let’s stop giving abusers money.

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