I’m wary of treating the “collaborators” the same as the perpetrators. We saw that over and over with Harvey Weinstein, where people acted like the people who worked with Weinstein were somehow “just as bad” as Weinstein. Same with Woody Allen – I’ve always maintained that many people didn’t know the extent of the accusations against Woody, and that a mere statement against him should be sufficient in most cases. So it is with R. Kelly as well – there were so many people who truly didn’t know the extent of his monstrous, predatory and criminal behavior. I only sat down and read about his disgusting behavior back in 2013, when a journalist who had been tracking R.Kelly’s crimes for years wrote a long-read piece. That was the same year that Lady Gaga collaborated with R. Kelly on “Do What U Want,” and she also defended him publicly, telling journalists:
“R. Kelly and I have sometimes very untrue things written about us, so in a way this was a bond between us. That we were able to say, the public, they can have our bodies, but they cannot have our mind or our heart. It was a really natural collaboration.”
Yeah. As I said, this was being written about and discussed extensively back in 2013. In that year, there was a public movement to cancel R. Kelly, to kick him off the airwaves, to ensure that all women/people knew about his monstrous crimes. Then I guess people forgot, or they weren’t paying attention back then, because Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly special arrived in 2019 like a hurricane, with new details, new victim accounts and a new movement to #MuteRKelly. Considering that Lady Gaga is in the midst of a massive Oscar campaign and she’s trying to get attention for all the right reasons, she really didn’t want her old collab with R. Kelly to come back to haunt her. But it already has – there were pop culture critics and journalists asking aloud,”Why hasn’t Gaga said anything about R. Kelly?” Well, she did. Finally:
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
I completely buy that Gaga had yet to fully process her sexual assault and I completely buy that victims will often have very messy journeys towards reconciling what happened to them. The only thing that bugs me a little bit is that… Gaga got sh-t back in 2013 for working with R. Kelly because, as I said, this whole thing was a huge conversation back then too. It feels too cute by half for Gaga to basically claim that she’s only heard about R. Kelly’s crimes now. That being said, what I said at the beginning still holds too – stop blaming women for the crimes committed by men. Gaga’s collaboration with R. Kelly doesn’t make her “just as bad” as him.
Photos courtesy of WENN.