Rapper Common is the latest artist to speak out against R. Kelly, stating that he and other members of the black community “failed” R. Kelly’s accusers over the past several years.
The Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly has documented several accusers who came forward alleging that Kelly had sexually and physically abused them — often while they were underage.
Several also claimed in the Lifetime docuseries that they were held against their will in what they described as a “sex cult.”
Common believes that racism contributed to no action being taken against Kelly for his alleged crimes.
“If it wasn’t just black women who R. Kelly had been molesting and abusing — if it wasn’t just black women, he would have been attacked by the system in a different way,” Common said to TMZ.
“The system doesn’t have a value for black women the way they do for white women or other nationalities,” he continued.
“Obviously R. Kelly, from everything we’ve seen and what we’re hearing, he has some issues that really, really need to be worked on — some deep and heavy issues. I’m not the one to judge him and I’m not condoning that, not ever. For the survivors, I feel a lot of compassion for them. We failed as a community because we knew that these things [were] happening,” he continued to TMZ.
Common added that instead of trying to help these women, people were more focused on the music, citing he was “guilty” of those actions for “not stopping it and speaking up against it.”
“R. Kelly [is] from my hometown, at the end of the day, he has issues and we see that. I can’t condone that and I shouldn’t be allowing that to happen. We failed our communities as black people. I’m not even going to talk about what the system did by not caring about black people. We should have been caring about our young ladies. We’re stopping that cycle, people are aware, and we live and learn,” he concluded.
CNN reported that R. Kelly could be facing an investigation in Georgia after the airing of the Lifetime documentary series.
Gerald Griggs, an attorney for the family of Joycelyn Savage — one of the women featured in Surviving R. Kelly — said that the Fulton County District Attorney reached out to Griggs a few days ago, after the show had aired, as reported by CNN.
Griggs said the Fulton County District Attorney is conducting an investigation into Kelly’s actions.
R. Kelly has denied all allegations of abuse.