Lady Gaga takes a strong stance against R. Kelly, apologizing for her 2013 collaboration with the beleaguered R&B singer.
In the past week, Lifetime aired a six-part documentary on R. Kelly. Dubbed Surviving R. Kelly, the docuseries centered around women who graphically described the R&B singer’s sexual misconduct.
Following the documentary’s airing, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network’s (RAINN) sexual crisis hotline has received 20% more calls.
Scott Berkowitz, RAINN’s President, explained,
“With the R. Kelly show, we were seeing more folks who are talking about childhood abuse.”
Yet, his label, RCA Records, has remained notoriously silent. Amidst pressure from multiple activist groups to drop the singer, the label hasn’t issued a comment.
Now, one singer has pulled a popular collaboration with Kelly.
Lady Gaga stands up to R. Kelly.
In a lengthy statement, Lady Gaga confirmed she has pulled her 2013 collaboration with Kelly, ‘Do What U Want,’ from iTunes. She has also pulled the song from all major streaming music services.
On Twitter, she wrote a post titled “I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault.”
“I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering, and in pain and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously.”
“What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible. As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the songs and video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.
“The song is called ‘Do What U Want (With My Body)’, I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.
“If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self, I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in – or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation – to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through.
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men, and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated this stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career [and] share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels. But I do know how I feel now.
“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again. I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.”
Featured image by Philip Nelson (CC by 2.0).