EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Powell Calls For Boycott Of R. Kelly
(AllHipHop News) R&B singer R. Kelly has been facing criticism over claims he was involved in sexual acts with underaged girls for over a decade. Despite that cloud of accusation hanging over him, the 46-year-old performer has managed to release numerous albums to varying success. Political activist, author, and president of BK Nation Kevin Powell says it is time for the public to stop supporting Kelly until he openly addresses the allegations.
[ALSO READ: Full Details of R. Kelly’s Sexual Assault Surface]
Powell and his BK Nation grassroots movement is calling for radio stations, video channels, music publications, websites, members of the entertainment industry, and consumers to boycott R. Kelly's music. The organization created a Change.org petition asking signers to agree not to buy Kelly's music until the singer apologizes for his reported behavior, undergoes counseling, and condemns sexual violence.
Kevin Powell gave AllHipHop.com an exclusive statement about his petition:
Because of my own past personal experiences and a commitment to counseling, healing, raw honesty, and action, I have worked against sexual violence in all forms since the early 1990s. This is an issue that is deeply personal to me, especially as I have done activism and community work in New York City, across America, and internationally. I've written and spoken about the R. Kelly saga which has dragged on for 15 long and painful years. The new and very detailed information just released raises so many red flags that BK Nation, my new national organization, felt compelled to create a petition asking concerned citizens and the entertainment community not to support R. Kelly's musical career any further, or at least not until he speaks openly and honestly about all the allegations, and takes ownership for behavior that apparently has not only been destructive and hurtful to others, but to himself as well. Beyond R. Kelly this petition is about any man, any person, who thinks there is nothing wrong with sexual assault, with sexual violence, with sexual misconduct and irresponsibility, no matter the form. We are saying yes there is and that men especially have got to raise our voices loudly and say enough. This kind of behavior is literally helping to destroy our communities.
In 2008, R. Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges stemming from a videotape prosecutors claimed showed Kelly having sex and urinating on a teenage girl. The allegations rose again over the past week when The Village Voice published an interview with former Chicago Sun-Times reporter Jim DeRogatis. The article presented previously unknown details about other allegations against Kelly.