On the heels of the polarizing Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, Los Angeles activists are renewing their efforts to have R Kelly removed from local airwaves.
Holding a press conference in front of 102.3 KJLH on Monday, Project Islamic Hope President Najee Ali and Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson implored iHeart Radio-owned stations to follow the lead of Stevie Wonder, who owns KJLH, to not play his music in any capacity.
“We are here at KJLH radio to commend Stevie Wonder and the owner of the station and station management for banning R. Kelly’s music on the airwaves. Now we want iHeartRadio and Radio One to follow suit,” said Ali. “It is critical that urban radio stop enriching R. Kelly by playing his music, stop making him relevant and stop making money off of the fact that they play R. Kelly’s music and are essentially partners in him preying on young black girls.”
Kelly has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. On Tuesday Fulton County Georgia’s District Attorney announced plans
Hutchinson weighed in by adding you cannot separate the message from the messenger.
“You have many radio stations that have enabled R. Kelly by buying his product. Essentially what you are doing is saying yes to sexual molestation, to sexual perversion, to sexual pandering. In this case, I’m sorry, you cannot separate the message from the messenger.”
The airing of the 6-part “Surviving R Kelly” on the Lifetime network created a media firestorm with scores of rappers speaking out and denouncing Kelly. Unfortunately, these words come way after the fact and would have been more effective at the time the alleged acts were taking place.