Is it wrong to listen to R. Kelly's music?
via AP

Is it wrong to listen to R. Kelly's music?

#BoycottRKelly
#ItsJustMusic
Join the conversation and vote below

R. Kelly has a long history of allegedly abusing young women and acting in predatory ways. Last summer, a BuzzFeed investigation alleged he has an "abusive cult" of women whose lives he controls. Now he's recently been accused of grooming a 14-year-old girl to be his "sex pet." Some people refuse to financially support an abusive artist who subsidizes his predatory behavior with music sales. Others see his classic music as separate from who he is as a person. What do you think? 🤔

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#BoycottRKelly
62.9%
#ItsJustMusic
37.1%

The Guardian recently reported that R. Kelly was accused of grooming a 14-year-old girl to be his "sex pet." 

The allegation – the latest in a string of allegations of the sexual abuse of young women by Kelly – was made, referring to another woman, by former girlfriend Kitti Jones, in a BBC3 documentary, R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes.
During two years of dating Kelly from 2011 onwards, Jones, 34, says she was groomed by him, and forced to have sex with him and others at least 10 times in a “sex dungeon”.
She said: “I was introduced to one of the girls, that he told me he ‘trained’ since she was 14, those were his words. I saw that she was dressed like me, that she was saying the things I’d say and her mannerisms were like mine. That’s when it clicked in my head that he had been grooming me to become one of his pets. He calls them his pets.”

Many former fans say they'll no longer listen to Kelly's music because of the most recent allegations. Kelly has already lost many fans with his long history of abuse and predatory behavior against young women. His music is tainted by his actions.

Others can't stand the idea that their money is going to someone who, at best, preys on young women and, at worst, coerces women into an abusive sex cult.

Issa Rae said she won't be listening to R. Kelly anymore. Here's what she told Complex:

"I mean, I was a fan," Issa began, "but when I heard the first reports and starting reading a bunch of the articles, I was off it, I was kind of disgusted. I just don't have a tolerance for that kind of behavior, and I can't separate from the music, especially when the music is about the behavior."

Others are able to separate the art from the artist. The problem with consuming only ethical art is that you're not going to be able to consume anything. People are not perfect, and celebrities are even worse. The content that artists create should be judged on its own merits, not because of the who the artist is.

Human beings are flawed and artists are no exception. Here's an example Jay Perini gave in the New York Times when he defended separating art from the artist:

Nobody looks at a Picasso painting in a museum and says, “I should not take this work seriously because Picasso cheated on his many wives and was abusive to his son.”Being an artist has absolutely nothing — nothing — to do with one’s personal behavior. Wonderful human beings can be dreadful poets, painters, filmmakers, musicians. They usually are. The reverse is equally true: hideous people can make great art. Wagner is a case in point. He was a magnificent composer, but his personal failings — including a huge streak of anti-Semitism — were reprehensible. His vileness as a man has no bearing on his greatness as a composer. It’s just another subject.
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