If you missed it, famous American singer Robert Sylvester Kelly, who you probably know as R Kelly, has added a new label to his name. He is now a convicted sex offender after being convicted by a jury of his peers of numerous sexual offenses. Thanks to the world we live in, this will likely be the only thing he will be known for from now on. Same sound Wikipedia page was quickly changed to include the title of the sex offender in the first sentence of his bio.
There is no defending his conduct. He has been found guilty and the charges he has faced are too numerous to ignore. There are charges pending in other jurisdictions where he will almost certainly be convicted as well. The man is a rapist who assaulted underage women, there is nothing to defend.
The era of the cancellation of culture, racism and knee-jerk reactions
However, I am concerned about some reactions to the R. Kelly saga. Even before he was found guilty, there had been some movement for his music to be banned and removed from platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. In reality, Spotify once removed it from its catalog because of these long-standing allegations even before having been convicted. Now that it is official that he is a sex offender, the movement has recovered.
Again, I’m not defending R Kelly’s behavior, I’m just concerned about the cancellation culture attitude that seems to apply mostly to black people, while white offenders tend to get a pass in. cases like this. More often than not, their cases do not even go to court. There has been no attempt to ban Johhny Depp’s films from various streaming platforms, although he is a “woman drummer“.
No one has done two seasons of Jeff Epstein or a Harvey Weinstein documentary and put them on Netflix. The British tabloids that haunted Meghan Markle are remarkably silent when allegations of sexual abuse hit a member of the royal family who also happens to be very white. Spotify has not removed Phil Spector’s music from its platform, even though he turns out to be a convicted murderer. Of course, Mr. Spector is white. Jim Gordon another famous artist slaughtered his own mother his music is there on Spotify and no one is talking about banning his music.
The sad truth is that many horrible and immoral people are also great artists. I bet you if we dig we’ll find Elvis Presly snorted cocaine (that makes him a criminal), the Beatles also broke some laws (that makes them criminals), many artists beat their wives and break the law.
Yet the most virulent demonizations tend to be reserved for blacks with their repeated crimes and misdeeds on racist networks like Fox News with macabre flourish. The racist undertones aired by presenters and commentators are unmistakable as people like Roger Ailes, who committed his crimes at Fox, reluctantly get a pass and five-second coverage.
Da Vince is alleged to have committed “sodomy crimes”. Why don’t we tear up his paintings in museums around the world and pay millions to acquire them instead? I think it is necessary to separate a man from his art unless that art glorifies his despicable acts. Why should I stop being inspired by “the world’s greats” or find solace in “The Storm is over” just because a rapist sang them?
I think it’s canceling the culture that has gone too far. R. Kelly is a horrible sex offender, his music is great, in part. I don’t particularly like the sound of Your Body’s Callin ‘, they can ban it for anything that matters to me.