R Kelly has been symbolically banned from entering a major metropolitan US city in the wake of a renewed focus on sexual abuse allegations against him.
Members of the Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously this week to let Robert S. Kelly know that he is not welcomed in the city, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The official resolution comes following the explosive six-part Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly“.
“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 wrote 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 supported 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.”
Legally, R. Kelly cannot be arrested or physically removed if he enters the city but Gym said her resolution was meant to send a message to the singer that the city will not tolerate men like him in their city.
By Damilola Faustino