A Harlem party for TVs upfronts Sunday night featured a host of celebrities guests dancing the night away. But when the DJ began playing R. Kelly, “Me Too” founder Tarana Burke had enough.
A source who attended entertainment lawyers Nina Shaw and Gordon Bobb’s May 13 event at Red Rooster restaurant told Page Six Burke pumped the brakes when Stormin’ Norman put on the accused singer’s 200 single “Fiesta.”
“She told the DJ, ‘No R. Kelly!’ and shut it down,” said the insider, who was surrounded by stars like Tiffany Haddish, Lupita Nyong’o and Cedric the Entertainer among others.
Burke has been a staunch supporter of #MuteRKelly, a movement that calls for radio stations to stop playing the singer’s tracks. Kelly has been the subject of criticism since last year when women who lived in his alleged sex cult came forward with stories about Kelz’s controlling and abusive behavior against them.
“What we are looking for, in our community and out,” Burke told NPR Tuesday, May 1, “is some accountability from the corporations that support this person who has a 24-year history of sexual violence perpetrated against Black and brown girls around the country.”
Kelly has repeatedly denied the allegations against him, issuing a statement likening the backlash to a “public lynching.”
But Burke remained firm that the comparison was baseless.
“This is not a lynching,” she said. “You know, we are only a week out of the national monument to lynching being opened in Montgomery, Ala. and the history, and the reality of lynching in America is so, so painful and so real. This is not a public lynching. This is a call for public accountability.”