09 June 2006

An R. Kelly Video That Won't Be on MTV


According to this article from Billboard.com, a Chicago judge has said the public will be allowed to see a video in which R. Kelly allegedly has sex with (and, ahem, pees on) a fourteen year-old girl.

Do you think the video will slow down Kelly's career? The accusations that he repeatedly abused underage girls certainly didn't. Since being charged with multiple counts pf soliciting a minor and child pornography in 2002, Kelly has released four albums that hit the top two (three of which went to number one.)

He's also unleashed that multi-chapter non-song "In The Closet," in which he narrates a tale of infidelity that ends with the public shaming of a gay black man. Meanwhile, other hit singles like "Ignition" and "Snake" have continued his tradition of praising freaky sex as often as possible.

Two things about this situation confuse me.

One: why has a man accused of committing sexual crimes continued to make music in which he promotes his own sexuality? Wouldn't it be better for his case--or at the very least more tasteful--to tone that stuff down?

Also, while I know that homophobia is hardly unusual in our society, does a man on trial for sex crimes have the standing to demean the legal sexual practices of others?

Two: How has R. Kelly avoided a backlash from the record buying public? I mean, The Dixie Chicks say one little thing about the president, and country audience turns on them. In the fifties, Jerry Lee Lewis marries his cousin, and his career is over. Michael Jackson gets accused of molesting boys--and just generally goes insane--and America drops him like he's hot (though Europe loves him still).

The Michael Jackson siutation isn't exactly analagous, I know, but I'm wondering what the reaction would have been if Kelly had been charged with peeing on young men. I imagine "Chocolate Factory" might have sold fewer copies. But why is it apparently no problem at all for him to face these charges with regard to young women?

And I'm not saying that Kelly is guilty. I don't know him or the purported victim, and all my information has come from mass media news.

However, that's what everyone else read, too, and it shocks me that, as a country that rejects people for being accused of less, we seem to have let Kelly slide.

Why is that?

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1 Comments:

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Laura B said...

R. Kelly, R. Kelly, you've disgraced yourself,

And still your new album will supply you with pelf.

 

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