R. Kelly has been scheduled to perform at New York City’s Madison Square Garden next month as his star power continues to take a beating over allegations of sexual assault and abuse of Black women.
The venue defended their right to host the “Ignition“ singer at their Hulu Theatre on September 15, adding that it was the public’s choice whether or not they would show up for the show.
“MSG has a long history of not censoring performers,” a venue representative told Variety. “We believe artists have the right to rent our venues to put on their own event, and that the public then has the choice whether or not to support that event.”
R. Kelly has been dogged by rumors of his sexually abusive treatment of young women for more than two decades. However, the tides seemingly began to shift this year after reports surfaced that he was holding women captive in an abusive cult.
The #MeToo movement has also shone a new spotlight on how people consume and support R. Kelly’s music, and the #MuteRKelly campaign has led to a botched attempt by Spotify to remove the artist from their playlists, a decline in radio airplay and more concert cancellations. In April, for example, R. Kelly was dropped from the lineup of the 2018 Love Jam concert after increasing pressure on the University of Illinois at Chicago to drop him.
In response to the allegations, R. Kelly released a 19-minute song called, “I Admit,” last month. The song was a way for R. Kelly to bear “his soul about a slew of topics from his illiteracy and his predilection for young women, to his current status as a ‘broke-ass legend’ and ‘the most disrespected artist in the game,’” Britni Danielle said.