Despite the fact that singer R. Kelly has not broken any laws recently and has not been indicted in the last 15 years nor convicted of any crime, he has been symbolically banned from entering a major metropolitan U.S. city.
Members of the Philadelphia City Council have moved forward with literally muting R. Kelly. The council passed a unanimous decision on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2109, let Robert S. Kelly, 51, know that he is not welcomed in the city. The decision to craft the resolution comes in the wake of the explosive six-part docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” that aired on Lifetime at the top of the year.
“This resolution is about fundamentally stating a public declaration that R. Kelly and sexual predators like him don’t belong in a public sphere, with public support. This symbolic act of solidarity puts all sexual predators on notice,” Helen Gym, an at-large member of city council, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“We reject a system that silences Black women and accepts Black pain,” Gym continued on Twitter. “We believe survivors. R. Kelly is not welcome in Philadelphia. Today our resolution honoring the #MuteRKelly movement passed in @PHLCouncil. Philly stands with survivors.”
Gym told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the city council wanted to show a united front in support of the many survivors of sexual abuse and sex trafficking.
“It’s about being clear that we will not accept a future where rape is accepted, and rapists and sexual predators get away with their acts,” she told the newspaper. “I believe that R. Kelly and predators like him should be shamed and banished from the public sphere.”
From a technical standpoint, R. Kelly cannot be arrested or physically removed if enters the City of Brotherly Love. However, Gym said her resolution was meant to send a message to the singer that the city will not tolerate men like Kelly in their city.
The #MuteRKelly campaign was originally founded and launched in Atlanta and has become a national movement.