Wednesday, Jan. 16, advocates from Black Women’s Blueprint, Color of Change, CREDO, Girls for Gender Equity, NOW-NYC and UltraViolet rallied outside Sony Music’s Madison Avenue HQ in Manhattan, calling on Sony Music and its subsidiary, RCA Records, to immediately drop R. Kelly in the wake of the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” The docuseries details Kelly’s decades of sexual abuse perpetrated against young Black women and girls, and those in the music industry who have not only enabled him but also profited from him. Advocates delivered petitions signed by more than 217,000 people demanding RCA Records drop R. Kelly. The protesters also presented Sony Music and RCA Records with a “Record Label of Shame” award. The action was supported by Chicago-based anti-violence organization, A Long Walk Home.
Speakers included Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, director of organizing, Color of Change; Joanne N. Smith, founder and president of Girls for Gender Equity; Jamilah Lemieux, writer/cultural critic (“Surviving R. Kelly”); Sharay Tindal, activist, Black Women’s Blueprint; and Natalie Green, representative and communications manager, UltraViolet.