R. Kelly Symbolically Banned from the City of Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia (photo: Michael W Murphy CC 2.0)
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The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia (photo: Michael W Murphy CC 2.0)
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The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia (photo: Michael W Murphy CC 2.0)

The entire city of Philadelphia just muted R. Kelly after the city council passed a resolution to ban the performer.

The #MuteRKelly movement has been gaining traction on social media after a documentary called Surviving R. Kelly detailed years of alleged abuse.

Kenyette Barnes is the national co-founder of the #MuteRKelly movement and spoke in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

“This movement is about saying enough is enough and not allow people to rest on hero worship.”

R. Kelly’s alleged sexual violence against minors has been a well-known secret for decades. The documentary detailed how the singer preyed on young and vulnerable girls who were easy to manipulate thanks to his stardom.

The resolution passed on Tuesday after several speakers detailed the economic impact the movement has had on R. Kelly’s bottom line.

“Banning R. Kelly sends a message that revenue is not more important than the safety and care of our women and girls, more specifically that black women and girls matter.”

The symbolic ban was promoted by Helen Gym and passed by the city council as a way to stand with victims rather than abusers. Gym tweeted the success of the ban last week.

The ban is purely symbolic and R. Kelly will not be arrested or detained if he enters Philadelphia.

While headlines like these certainly draw attention and keep R. Kelly and his scandal in the news cycle, it doesn’t accomplish much. R. Kelly could announce an impromptu concert in the city tomorrow and at most, the #MuteRKelly organizers could only protest it.

R. Kelly has faced increasing scrutiny of his private life since the six-part docuseries aired.  His Twitter page has gone silent, and RCA Records (a division of Sony Music Entertainment) dropped him as the #MuteRKelly movement has intensified.

We later learned the Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) had also quietly dropped the singer.

His tour schedule is looking pretty bare, too.  Kelly has three appearances in April slated for three different cities in Germany.