Breaking news! R Kelly sexually abused teenage girls!
Wait, what? What year is this?
The first lawsuit against R Kelly alleging that he had sexual relations with an underaged girl was back in 1996. In 1994 R Kelly was married to 15 year old Aaliyah. That story, in itself, was a long, long trip down the rabbit hole.
Back in 2005, well, you should check out this article: Over A Decade Ago, ‘The Boondocks’ Ridiculed Everyone for Ignoring R. Kelly’s Abuse. A cartoon had a whole episode dedicated to R Kelly's transgressions. A CARTOON.
So this past week on Lifetime, a new mini-series debuted called Surviving R Kelly. Somehow the show set the internet on fire with allegations that <gasp> R Kelly sexually abused teenage girls.
How in the world is anyone still shocked by this? Maybe a police department should watch these specials. In 2017, Buzzfeed alleged that R Kelly was running a "Sex Cult." Here's the problem. Almost every article documenting R Kelly's issues also puts in the disclaimer:
R Kelly's Awards (dozens).
R Kelly's Record Sales (tens of millions).
R Kelly's Musical Achievements (in the Guinness Book of World Records).
What is the tipping point in America between Public Praise and Public Scorn?
Seriously, I don't have an answer for you. Only more questions.
One of my Dad's favorite shows when I was a young adult was Home Improvement.
I didn't like Home Improvement, I thought Tim Allen was a big phony, his show was too formulaic, and it just wasn't that funny. My Dad didn't understand why I didn't like ABC's monster hit. At some point, I can't remember the context, I told my Dad that Tim Allen was a terrible human being and sold drugs to kids.
That stopped him in his tracks. "What are you talking about?" I replied "the last place Tim Allen should be is on a Family Sitcom....
Author's Disclaimer: If we only knew then what we know now about Paternal Figures in Sitcoms.
....he went to jail for cocaine possession." My Dad was mad that I was slandering poor Tim Allen and left the room to do some research. Sure enough, back when Allen was 25, he was arrested for possession of a pound and a half of cocaine. Facing an extended prison sentence, he ratted out his suppliers and 'only' served out two years in a Federal Prison.
I don't think we ever talked about that conversation again. My Dad just kept watching Home Improvement and he didn't care about what Tim Allen did in his personal time. He just cared that Home Improvement was funny.
Ironically, one of my Dad's favorite shows today is Last Man Standing. Do I like Last Man Standing? No. Last Man Standing is....
You know what, I'm an older man now, let's just say it's not my cup of tea. But my point is, I never, ever, heard of anyone refusing to work with Tim Allen because of his criminal past. Not one person.
When Last Man Standing was rebooted, not everyone was on board. The rumor is that Molly Ephraim wasn't interested in coming back because of Allen's Conservative Slant. I tried to verify the rumor, but all articles just stated Ephraim was "busy." Busy doing what? A small part in a Gary Hart movie? A recurring role on IFC's Brockmire?
The appearance is that Ephraim isn't working with Tim Allen because he's too conservative. Never in a million years did I think I'd be defending Tim Allen, but that's a bad look on Ephraim's part. I've heard of people in Hollywood not work working with other people for a litany of reasons, but Conservatism?
From day one, Last Man Standing has been the same show (to its detriment), but what happened is the political climate changed.
Uggh. I hate talking about Tim Allen. Number of vehicles I liked him in? Galaxy Quest. And that's it.
Working at the top rungs of the movie business or the music business isn't like working at the local WalMart. You're stocking shelves and you don't like your co-worker at WalMart, for whatever reason, and you go to your boss and say "I can't work with xxxx, because of xxxx." You know what the boss is going to say? "Shut up and stock up those Cheerios."
After R Kelly's "marriage" to Aaliyah (quickly annulled by her parents), R Kelly continued working with nearly 100 collaborators. That doesn't include the people who worked with him on his prolific output, and that doesn't include production credits. Maybe, behind the scenes, people passed on working with R Kelly, but those passes were never made public.
R Kelly never changed. I find it hard to believe that ANY of his collaborators had no knowledge of his personal indiscretions. Now all of a sudden Kelly's personal life matters. Society should have cared 20 years ago. Why wasn't R Kelly stopped?
Again, I am not asking rhetorically, he's still be-boppin' around, planning concerts in Europe this spring. Even if R Kelly went to jail, people would still be linin' up to do collaborations with him. Their defense would probably be Micheal Jackson did worse.
....because it's 2019 The Daily Beast had to play the race card. Uh, you know what? R Kelly may, and we re-iterate, may have had some youthful indiscretions (into his 50s), but you know who were the real sexual degenerates? Led Zeppelin.
Then I read a cut and paste article filled with stories that I had already read in Rolling Stone Magazine 30 years earlier. Those Zeppelin kids weren't just scallywags, they were deviants. So kudos to Stereo Williams, way to stay classy while defending "genius" R Kelly. Please try to keep up and re-watch that Boondocks episode.