Well I guess one can say that “the people” have spoken with this one. Even when you’re found to be “innocent” by the law, the judgement by public opinion can haunt you for the rest of your days. Looks like “Kelz” is still experiencing that.
Check out the story as reported by USA Today:
Responding to protests from musicians and locals, organizers of the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio, have pulled R. Kelly from the Labor Day weekend lineup.
Kelly was scheduled to appear on Aug. 29, opening day of the three-day event in Columbus’ Arena District. His 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.”
Soon after announcing the controversial R&B star as a headliner, complaints poured in, mostly via social media, about his tumultuous legal history, particularly his 2002 indictment on 21 counts of making child pornography. Kelly was found not guilty of those charges in 2008. Jurors said they were convinced of Kelly’s role in sex tapes presented as evidence but could not be certain of the ages and identities of the female partners.
In 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times began publishing an investigative series portraying Kelly as a sexual predator who sought girls as young as 15.
Kelly performed at last year’s Bonnaroo and Pitchfork festivals without much dissent, but Columbus citizens have been vocal in their disapproval.
Bands and vendors have pulled out of the festival and many residents have voiced disapproval on Twitter and Facebook. A sample of Facebook comments:
- “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.”
FMMF organizers, who initially defended the selection, took notice of community reaction and decided to remove Kelly. Remaining headliners include O.A.R., Michelle Williams, Paper Diamond and Destructo. Also on the bill are Future Islands, The Menzingers and Maps & Atlases. The festival also celebrates fashion and will spotlight Althea Harper, Kaolacore, Rox & Royalty, Alternative Fashion Mob, Lubna Designs, Dirty Rich Apparel and more. For details, go here.
Source: USA Today