Controversial R&B singer R. Kelly is ignoring his critics and moving ahead with a show Friday at Greensboro Coliseum and a Raleigh appearance Saturday at a nightclub.
Protesters have pledged to be outside at both sites. Kelly has faced accusations of sexual misconduct for more than 20 years, and attention to the allegations has grown steadily in recent months with the influence of the #MeToo movement.
The #MuteRKelly movement has been building momentum on social media, and followers such as Brandi Collins-Calhoun of Greensboro are promising a presence outside the Greensboro Coliseum on Friday night.
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In a Facebook post, Collins-Calhoun suggested the Coliseum should have canceled the show and so it, too, will feel the brunt of protests. The Coliseum has declined to comment on the matter, according to multiple media outlets.
“We have to hold local spaces accountable for funding the violence and abuse on young black women and girls,” Collins-Calhoun wrote on Facebook.
“R. Kelly still having the support of the community and entertainment industry is no different than families inviting our abusers to Thanksgiving dinner.”
Kelly’s Raleigh appearance will be part of the “Pre Mother’s Day Bash” at Level Nightclub. A Thursday post on the club’s Facebook page said Kelly will be on stage as planned “partying hard.”
CBS reports protesters succeeded in getting Kelly dropped from a May 5 “Love Jam” concert at the University of Illinois.
The university’s chancellor sent a letter of explanation in which he said hosting the show would “condone the harm that (Kelly) has done to African American women and girls,” reported CBS.
Kelly’s management has addressed the protest effort in North Carolina, telling Fox8 the effort is “a publicity-driven protest by a handful of people.”
The same statement said he supports the protesters' First Amendment rights to free speech.
However, “they are free to skip the event...Just as fans of R. Kelly have the First Amendment right to attend his concerts,” Fox quoted his management saying.