R. Kelly Dropped From Ohio Festival After Protests
R. Kelly has been dropped from the lineup of an Ohio music festival following complaints about his past as an alleged sexual predator.
The musician was slated to perform on the opening day of the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival over Labor Day weekend in Columbus. But following complaints on Twitter and Facebook and bands and vendors reportedly pulling out of the event, the festival tweeted Monday that it and the musician “have decided to part ways,” linking to a USA Today article about the decision.
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Kelly’s publicist released the following statement to USA Today: "R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours."
After Kelly was announced as a performer, numerous complaints were posted on Twitter and Facebook, mostly about his past as an alleged sexual predator, USA Today reported. Kelly was indicted in 2002 on charges of making child pornography and was acquitted in 2008.
The Chicago Sun-Times also ran an investigative series portraying the musician as a sexual predator.
One of the comments retrieved by USA Today said, “It's actually very common for sexual predators to put on a good show. That is how they lure their victims."
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Rape victims responded to the Kelly booking with "sheer horror,” another Facebook user wrote. “That's why we are upset. Support victims of sexual abuse and don't ignore them."
Another user said, “Accepting R Kelly as an artist is to ignore the fundamental basics of human dignity. It's not like he's just a player and folks don't dig it. A very real line was very clearly crossed and this is how we choose to express our disdain for the deeds and support for the victims."
Remaining headliners on the festival include O.A.R. and Michelle Williams. Check out FMMF’s R. Kelly tweet below.
FMMF and R. Kelly have decided to part ways. Thank you for your support, we look forward to seeing you next month. http://t.co/6d1OVaNHJT— Fashion + Music Fest (@FMMFestival) July 28, 2014