Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes are among those calling on the music industry to #MuteRKelly over accusations of sexual misconduct "made by women of color and their families for over two decades now." R. Kelly's management team, meanwhile, is claiming a "greedy, conscious, and malicious conspiracy to demean him." The "unjust" attack is an "attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture," his team said in a Monday statement, per Variety. Hours earlier, the Women of Color committee at Time's Up issued a letter calling out RCA Records, Spotify, Apple Music, and Ticketmaster for their relationships with the artist, who was last year accused of holding women in an abusive cult at his properties, reports NPR.
"We demand investigations into R. Kelly's abuse allegations" and "call on those who profit from his music to cut ties," says DuVernay, who's a member of the committee alongside Rhimes and actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell, per USA Today. "We stand linked with our sisters and will no longer tolerate the predatory behavior of R. Kelly to go unchecked," Smollett-Bell adds, per the AP. "His music must be turned down and the voices of these brave survivors must be heard." The women's letter highlights Kelly's May 11 concert in North Carolina, and NPR notes a Friday concert in Chicago was canceled after similar concerns were voiced. "I've never heard of a show being canceled because of rumors, but I guess there's a first time for everything," Kelly later said in a video posted to Twitter.