R&B artist R. Kelly will be met by a “Protest Against Pedophiles” on Friday when he rolls into Los Angeles for a concert at the Forum. Activists are upset that Kelly has yet to be tried for 14 counts of child pornography, and that his performance is being held at a venue that is owned by Faith Central Bible Church.
In 2002, Kelly was indicted for having sexual intercourse with a minor—charges that stemmed from videotape that allegedly showed him having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The charges were eventually reduced to soliciting a minor for child pornography.
What the commentators said
This concert should be cancelled, said Jasmyne A. Cannick in NewsBlaze.com. If you “had a teenage daughter,” and you were pretty sure that “she had sex—willing or otherwise—with a grown man,” would you “invite” that man “into your home”? It’s also frustrating that “Michael Vick was tried and sentenced for dog fighting within the span of seven months,” yet Kelly “was first indicted” five years ago “and his case has yet to go to trial.”
The leaders of Faith Central Bible Church could call off the show if they wanted to, said Geoff Boucher in the Los Angeles Times. “In 2005, the church canceled a performance by a heavy-metal band that Chief Operating Officer Marc Little said was ‘antithetical to our beliefs.’” But it probably wouldn’t do much good anyway. Despite the criminal allegations against Kelly, his “career has not only endured, it has thrived.”
“Silly Christians, you can’t defeat R. Kelly with prayer and picket signs,” said Jess Harvel in the blog Idolator. Besides, didn’t you listen to “2004’s super-overwrought, concept-licious U Saved Me?” Kelly “has been saved, repeatedly and melodramatically, by your man JC, although when he gets to heaven there’s a good chance he’s still going to try to entice him into a three-way.”