Last week, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym introduced a “Mute R. Kelly” resolution to the city assembly that would permanently ban 52-year-old R&B singer from performing in the City of Brotherly Love. “If you’re a rapist or a child molester, you’re not welcome in Philadelphia,” Gym told local news. “I think we live at an incredible moment in time where we are no longer accepting the protection of powerful men at the expense of women.”
The bill, of course, comes in the wake of the “Surviving R. Kelly,” the Lifetime docuseries that featured interviews with over 50 people and detailed the artist’s alleged long history of sexual, physical, and mental abuse of young women and girls. Since the release of the series, Kelly has been released by his record label RCA, rebuked by many prominent names in the music industry, and is now once again under criminal investigation.
On Thursday afternoon, the Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously in support of Gym’s “Mute R. Kelly” resolution. Commenting on the significance of the bill’s passage, the councilwoman tweeted, “We reject a system that silences black women and accepts black pain. We believe survivors. R. Kelly is not welcome in Philadelphia. This symbolic act of solidarity puts all sexual predators on notice.”