R. Kelly Dropped From Sony's RCA Label: Report
"This is a huge victory for the survivors who came forward, both in 'Surviving R. Kelly' and before, and all young Black women, who are systematically undervalued in our society," said Arisha Hatch of Color of Change.
R. Kelly was removed from RCA Records' website on Friday, but no official statement has been made by the record label.
Sony and R. Kelly have agreed to part ways, according to a Billboard report. The "Surviving R. Kelly" documentary and subsequent backlash from activists, music fans, and fellow music artists seems to have taken its toll, after more than 25 years of accusations of sexual and physical abuse.
His back catalogue will remain with the label. And there are still concerns:
Entertainment attorney Leslie Frank, a partner of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, told Variety:
"If R. Kelly does not want to terminate the agreement and instigates a dispute saying that it's a breach of contract by RCA, if RCA is concerned about the cost of litigation and how a court might decide, they could try to come to a settlement with R. Kelly."
His current adviser, Don Russell, told Rolling Stone that several record labels are "very interested" in working with Kelly.
"We understand RCA's position: they have to remain transparent for the sake of the other artists that they represent and generate wealth for," he said. "They're not in the position of dealing with the kind of stuff that has come about with R. Kelly. He has no issue with RCA. I think he's outgrown RCA. He's ready for the next level of life, anyway."
Protesters have mounted the pressure on the label, especially in recent weeks.
Ultra Violet, a women's organization, commissioned a place to fly over Sony Music's Los Angeles offices carrying sign that told them to drop R. Kelly.
Plane flies over Sony Music's offices calling for label to drop @rkelly https://t.co/acxxgfqPaN pic.twitter.com/wbVwFCDHLY
— Yahoo Entertainment (@YahooEnt) January 12, 2019
Protests were also held outside the New York headquarters.
On Wednesday, protesters delivered a petition including more than 200,000 signatures asking for RCA and its parent company, Sony Music Entertainment, to drop the singer.
Time's Up called on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music to remove his music. "All allies in the fight against sexual violence," the group wrote on Twitter, "must take a stand on this toxic issue."
Artists like John Legend, Chance the Rapper, and Keke Palmer have spoken out against him.
Lady Gaga and Celine Dion recently removed their duets with R. Kelly from streaming services and French rock band Phoenix apologized for collaborating with the singer in 2013.
His daughter, Joann Kelly, called him a "monster" and his ex-wife Andrea Lee gave detailed accounts of the abuse in their marriage in the documentary.
"This is a huge victory for the survivors who came forward, both in "Surviving R. Kelly" and before, and all young Black women, who are systematically undervalued in our society," said Arisha Hatch of Color of Change in a statement.
And on Friday, his former manager, Henry James Mason turned himself in to the authorities in Georgia, after being wanted on a warrant for terroristic threats and acts against Timothy Savage, whose daughter Joycelyn was believed to be one of his victims.
Reactions on social media:
It took too long. But it's done. For one reason: the hard work and inexhaustible ferocity of the mostly female and black activists who wouldn't give up. Hats off to them. Sorry that #RCA (and I as a white person) didn't do more and sooner. Hope we're all learning from this.
— Jessica Craven for Delegate #AD51 (@Craven7Jessica) January 18, 2019
Too little...too late pic.twitter.com/mE9c2L5rTD
— William Boone (@WilliamBoone93) January 18, 2019
No doubt about it dude but doesn't it all just seem fake? As in Sony & others really don't give a shit about what he's been doing to young black girls, there only distancing themselves because it's the 'trendy' thing to do right now, which is to distance yourself from him.
— Chillhop Wrestlin (@aProWrestlinfan) January 18, 2019
wait r kelly got dropped from Sony? this is the first step, next step he going JAIL! pic.twitter.com/PLmr9GvnUK
— 𝒸𝒶𝓉𝒽 (@cocoadiosa) January 18, 2019
Reader Question: Do you think jail is next for R. Kelly?
Michael Avenatti tweeted that he gave Chicago prosecutors "new critical video evidence."
"The LGBTQ is a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan, without wearing hoods with their antics of hate," said West Virginia delegate Eric Porterfield.
The interaction between Gayle King and Ralph Northam should have led to a bigger discussion.
In light of the two alleged assaults, the second accuser is calling for Fairfax's resignation.
UPDATED: Feb. 8, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. EST
As the hashtag #IBelieveVanessa circulates on Twitter, in regard to Dr. Vanessa Tyson's claim that she was sexually assaulted by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax, another accuser has stepped forward.
Lawyers for Meredith Watson released a statement Friday saying that Fairfax raped her in 2000 while they were both Duke University students. Watson is calling for Fairfax's resignation.
Another woman is accusing Justin Fairfax of sexual assault. Meredith Watson says Fairfax raped her while they were students, according this tweet. https://t.co/6T0mKZprxG
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 8, 2019
Below is the statement:
We serve as counsel for Meredith Watson, who was raped by Justin Fairfax in 2000, while they were both students at Duke University. Mr. Fairfax's attack was premeditated and aggressive. The two were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship.
Ms. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her.
Ms. Watson was upset to learn that Mr. Fairfax raped at least one other woman after he attacked her. The details of Ms. Watson's attack are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson.
At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character. She has no interest in becoming a media personality or reliving the trauma that has greatly affected her life. Similarly, she is not seeking any financial damages.
On behalf of our client, we have notified Justin Fairfax through his attorneys that Ms. Watson hopes he will resign from public office.
ORIGINAL STORY: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax's Accuser, Vanessa Tyson, Gains Support
Dr. Vanessa Tyson, a fellow at Stanford University, an associate professor at Scripps College, and a founding member of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Survivor Speakers' Bureau, released a statement, detailing what she says was sexual assault by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.
Tyson said she was prompted by her lawyers to make a statement after a conservative website, Big League Politics, published one of her private Facebook posts where she vented about Fairfax.
"I think that many times white people do not understand what blackface means," Sellers said.
The photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface and another man dressed in a KKK costume is sparking a national conversation. The racist act of wearing blackface goes back to the mid-19th century. It's 2019 and Black people still have to explain why it's offensive.
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Update: White Powder, A Witness, and Photos Have All Been Uncovered in the Jussie Smollett Attack Investigation
The perpetrators have yet to be identified but police are collecting information about individuals that were in the area at the time of the attack.
The FBI and Chicago PD are investigating the attack of Empire actor Jussie Smollett and have new leads.
Chicago police said an envelope with white powder and a threatening letter with magazine cut outs pasted on paper was received at Cinespace Studios, where Empire is filmed, on January 22.
HAZMAT responded, but the white substance turned out to be aspirin.
Police have released photos of two individuals wanted for questioning.
Video of Smollett walking into a hotel after the attack with a noose around his neck, along with the noose and his sweater have also been acquired to help try to identify more clues to find the attackers.
Smollett said he was on the phone with his manager when the attack happened.
Smollett family's statement said this was a "violent and unprovoked attack," and "a racial and homophobic hate crime."
A witness, who requested anonymity, described a "creepy" white man outside the building with a clothesline hanging from his pants, staring at another man near another entrance about 300 hundred feet away.
She told TMZ, "He looked out of place." He had scruff on his face, wearing a blue winter beanie, a blue zip-up sweatshirt with a hood and blue jeans that were too short. He had "thick, grey hunting socks" with camel-colored dress shoes.
She talked to detectives when she found out there was an attack.