Not On Their Watch: Ohio Festival Removes R Kelly From Lineup After Public Backlash

July 29, 2014  |  

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R. Kelly is an exceptionally talented musician. But sadly now that all of his dysfunction is out there for the world to see, his illness speaks louder than his talent. While there are still plenty of people who still ride for Kellz and his hypersexual music, other Columbus, Ohio residents weren’t having it. And their complaints resulted in Kelly being removed from the Fashion Meets Music Festival on Labor Day weekend.

R. Kelly was scheduled to perform on August 29, kicking off the three day festival in Columbus’ Arena district.

When news broke that he would not be performing, Kelly’s publicist released a statement: “R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours.” 

As soon as the festival announced that Kelly would be the headliner for the festival, complaints started pouring in from angry social media users. As you might assume, they cited the rape accusations and the indictment on his 21 counts of child pornography.

Here’s a sampling of what they had to say, according to the USA Today. 

  • “It’s actually very common for sexual predators to put on a good show. That is how they lure their victims.”
  • (Rape victims responded to the Kelly booking with) “sheer horror. That’s why we are upset. Support victims of sexual abuse and don’t ignore them.”
  • “Accepting R Kelly as an artist is to ignore the fundamental basics of human dignity. It’s not like he’s just a player and folks don’t dig it. A very real line was very clearly crossed and this is how we choose to express our disdain for the deeds and support for the victims.”
  • “Vote with your wallets.”

Kelly was found not guilty of those charges in 2008 when jurors stated that while they believed that it was indeed R. Kelly in the tapes, they couldn’t be sure of the age of female participants.

Before Kelly was ever brought to trial, the Chicago Sun Times started publishing an investigative series which detailed Kelly’s history with underaged girls as young as 15.

Initially, the festival organization stood by the choice of R. Kelly but after the noticed the backlash the decided to ask Kelly to step down. Other performers for the weekend include Michelle Williams, Paper Diamond and Destructo, Future Islands and more.

Personally, I think Columbus made the right decision and I wish other individuals, organizations and venues would keep sending this same message until people realize this man has a very real problem and he should seek help.

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  • Tiron West

    ” A child predator?” Really? Bull…People need to worry about the art, and stay off TMZ. Guess hip hop clowns who call women ho’s and other blacks n*gga is just fine! I never read or was there a woman who said she was “forced” Money and fame drew them. Yes it’s not dating, but these comments are the reult of “writers”. When a jury convicts then you have a case. When a woman says she was forced, you have a case.. Underage is against the law, and the law convicts! Where’s the convictions? Folks read gossip but dont have the sense to read for knowledge..

  • keith

    good, F$%@ that rapist. I haven’t really paid any attention to R-Kelly
    since “best of both worlds” with Jay-Z. What i REALLY don’t get is how much support he gets from black women in general.

  • sxyldy

    it makes you wonder about his ex wife, and now his son/daughter is going through some gender thing. karma

  • Dee

    What other acts will be at this festival? Because if its most of the artist that are played on the radio. Then they should just cancel the whole festival. What? Because R. Kelly got caught, the rest of the artist who are over sexualizing women, prompting violence, and just plane foolery get a pass? Yes! Let’s not single out one how about all?

    • StraightShooter

      Sexualizing women does not even come close to what Kelly has done. He is a child molester that walked free because of Black jurors on his trial, that refused to protect little Black girls. A woman is different from a girl. He was messing with children. Why do so many Black adults view Black children as being completely culpable for their actions? Children do not have the same foresight that adults have. Don’t even try to accuse these children of being “fast” or “hot”. A child is a child and a grown man is a grown man.

      • Dee

        So all music is only listened to by grown women? Really?have you seen world starr? And no one is accusing anyone. It’s ok, that when I see young girls dancing like strippers or the fact other artist have and other actors have done the same? Power drunk because of money? So it doesn’t matter the age because 12 is different from 17? Plz.

        • StraightShooter

          So you are comparing an artist making music for adult audiences to a known child rapist? Your whole argument makes no sense. I don’t even want to have this debate because you seem ill-formed and by that I mean stupid. Good day.

          • Dee

            You’re an idiot. Doesn’t matter. they are still exposing ppl to over sexual situations but only in America is fine line drawn when the whole system is fucked up but supported by complete idiots like you! Oh he is child molester but the rest of the trash that is at the festival isn’t?

      • Define2

        It bothered me that they vilified the girls saying they were loose and fast anyway. How do we stand for such behavior just because a man can sing?

        • StraightShooter

          That’s what I’m wondering.

        • bean83

          The masses are SHEEP! As long as he puts on a show, they are good and will support this dude! How many times have you heard – but he can sing. He puts on a good show. Ridiculous.

  • slim

    I understand why they did this. R has done some very questionable things in his past but I do find it funny that he gets the permanent backlash while every other artist or celeb who has messed with girls 14-17 basically gets it brushed under the rug. Marvin Gaye and Elvis are ”Music Icons”. Jerry Seinfeld is just a ”funny comedian”. Woody Allen is just a ”troubled director”. Paul Walker was just a ”talented actor”.Ted Nugent and Gene Simmons were just ”hanging” with 13 year old girls and are now ”Rock Legends”. Michael Jackson dies and people forget he admitted to sleeping with young boys. Now he is just a ”disturbed musical genius”. I’m far from an R.Kelly stan but I do wonder why he gets the side eye, that a lot of celebs (past and present) don’t get. If you dislike one, you better dislike every celeb who’s ever messed with a girl (or boy) under 18.

    • StraightShooter

      Kelly is a child predator. Period, point, blank. You’ve mentioned other suspected child predators and I think that all of them will or already are paying for what they have done. Don’t try to dismiss Kelly’s predatory actions because you think someone else has been given a pass. Wrong is wrong and Kelly has yet to pay for his actions or publicly apologize. Little girls deserve to be protected. Kelly is a grown man and he doesn’t need someone standing up for him.

      • slim

        Honey, I didn’t excuse what he was accused of nor am I sticking up for him. I made an honest observation on the hypocrisy I see online and in the media when it comes to certain celebs. Even in some sense the hypocrisy I see in real life

    • Michelle Denise Robertson

      The most honest post so far. I am not supporting his behavior but because I do enjoy his music as well as others whom committed crimes I am not condemning the man either. Luckily we are able to decide whether to pay him or not whereas I do not agree with how many on welfare raise there children it I can’t stop paying taxes that’s the crime I’m most pissed about. R Kelley had his trial he was found not guilty for whatever reason. I am more upset at our court system finding innocent guilty and then guilty innocent.

      • StraightShooter

        You support a child molester. I hope that you don’t have any children, you certainly don’t deserve any.

        • bean83

          As long as he sings a good song, they will support this monster!

          • father

            yup i highly doubt he was inspired by adult women when it comes to writing his songs,i think his songs are highly inspired by his pedophilic nature ,especially when he got married to aaliyah that is when i realized his greatest love songs have got nothing to do with a mature woman

    • meme

      I was going along with you until you put Michael Jackson in the mix. I never believed Michael was having sex with boys – young or otherwise.

  • Chykim L Sanders

    Couldn’t agree with you more…I read an article about his past experience with young girls, it was horrible, forcing some to even have abortions, urinating on them, anal sex…Iwas ddisgusted…he’s a vile creature and should be in prison!!

  • Shayla

    You go Ohio!

  • Guest

    Now if only other venues and organizations follow suit. R. Kelly is incredibly talented but with that said, he’s a predator that has been known to go after these young girls and is able to get away with it because he’s famous. Stop funding this man’s sickness!

    • Define2

      I agree, it has always amazed me how after his sex scandal his life seemed to go on as before. I was thinking doesn’t anyone care what he did to those young girls?

      • StraightShooter

        No one cared because the children are Black. Black children are viewed as little adults that fully understand every decision they make. Little Black girls are viewed as being “fast” and “hot”. Therefore they couldn’t have been lured, lied to, and tricked into anything.

        • lolo

          So true.. its a shame smh

      • Love&Light

        EXACTLY what @disqus_KC6bz7vq5Z:disqus said, it’s an unfortunate reality. Rest assured if R. Kelly was involved with little white girls in the suburbs of Chicago,the media would have dragged him through the mud.

        • bean83

          I agree 200%!

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  • lockstress

    Well Ohio was the state that had the 3 women locked in the house as sex slaves so that makes a lot of sense.

    • Quinshay

      Are you serious? The whole state didn’t have 3 women locked up in a house; one sick & twisted man did. When they were finally freed, the people in the state actually rejoiced and supported them.