After decades of being known as a notorious abuser of young girls and women, R. Kelly was finally convicted last month of sex trafficking. After a long trial, wherein the jury heard from new fewer than eleven accusers, the singer was found guilty on all nine charges he was facing. These charges included racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, sex trafficking, and a violation of the Mann Act. He is currently in custody awaiting sentencing, which is set for May 2022.
Following this conviction, YouTube has now decided to take down Kelly’s main channels, saying that their decision is ‘in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines.’ He won’t be able to create any new channels, but his music will still be available on YouTube Music, as well videos posted by other users of the site. This isn’t the first time YouTube has taken down channels after such high-profile convictions. Larry Nassar, who was jailed for molesting hundreds of young gymnasts, had his channel removed.
It’s a small thing but an important one given how much revenue an artist like Kelly can pull in via YouTube. The #MuteRKelly campaign has spent years trying to get major radio stations and venues to stop playing and hiring Kelly. They have called upon other massive platforms, such as Spotify and Amazon Music, to follow suit.
R. Kelly could face life in prison. It’s not long enough.
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