January 25, 2019
Update, 2/2/19: Councilwoman Helen Gym's resolution passed on Thursday, Jan. 31.
R. Kelly's unraveling career may result in him becoming persona non grata in Philadelphia.
City Councilwoman Helen Gym introduced a resolution on Thursday that sets out to "deny the singer a public platform" here.
In a pair of tweets and a press release about the resolution, Gym referenced the #MuteRKelly campaign that emerged in 2017 and called for, among other actions, radio stations to stop playing Kelly's songs. That campaign arose after new sexual abuse allegations emerged against the R&B singer.
R. Kelly catapulted to mainstream airplay in the early 1990's with his chart-topping single "Bump N' Grind," adding crossover appeal in 1998 with "Space Jam" soundtrack contribution, "I Believe I Can Fly."
Public outcry against the musician mounted after the release of Lifetime's six-part documentary series, "Surviving R. Kelly," which details 25 years of sexual abuse allegations brought forward by dozens of victims, including ex-wife Andrea Kelly.
Years before the series, Kelly was hit with child pornography charges stemming from a 2002 video in which he was allegedly shown having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The charges were dropped when the victim decided not to testify against Kelly in 2008.
Sony Records dropped R. Kelly from the label last week amid a growing backlash. The label will maintain his back catalog, which has sold more than 32 million records.
"We all have a responsibility to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation, and to seek accountability when it occurs,” Gym's resolution stated. “We acknowledge the vulnerability of Black girls, and make a commitment to show up for and stand with them.”