The fall out from the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary continues apace with Erykah Badu the latest to be hit by the fall out. While Badu hasn’t worked with Kelly, she chose to address the controversy during her performance on Saturday night (January 19, 2018) in Chicago where she advocated for prayer and unconditional love for Kelly.
Widely criticized on social media, Badu this morning tweeted, “I love you. Unconditionally.
That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices. I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you ? That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.”
The fall out for Badu began after she paused between songs and told the crowd, “I dunno how everybody else feel about it but I’m putting up a prayer right now for R. I hope he sees the light of day if he done all those things that we’ve seen on TV and heard those ladies talk about. I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.”
Taking a pause to listen to the jeering audience she responded, “What y’all say, fuck him? That’s not love. That’s not unconditional love. But what if one of the people that was assaulted by R Kelly grows up to be an offender, we gonna crucify them? They ’bout to R Kelly me to death on the internet, I’m like goddamn. I just want peace and light for everybody and healing for those who are hurt because everyone involved has been hurt, victimized in some kinda way. Love for everybody.”
While Badu had some support, for the most part she was viewed as showing more empathy for Kelly than his victims. The impatience with Badu’s views on Kelly is in part rooted in what’s viewed as a pattern of statements advocating for abusers. In a series of tweets in 2016 she advocated for young women to wear knee-length skirts to protect themselves from unwanted attention from males, and in a February 2018 interview with Vulture, she went on to express support for Louis Farakhan and empathy for Adolph Hitler. “I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler,” she stated in the article.
Badu’s comments about one of Kelly’s victim’s becoming an abuser also perpetuates the misconception that “hurt people hurt people.” Studies have shown the vast majority of people who are sexually abused as children do not become offenders themselves.
It’s unclear what will happen next, but it doesn’t seem likely Badu will be bringing up Kelly at her next concert.
Check out Badu’s recent tweet and concert statements below.
I love you. Unconditionally.
That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices.
I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you ?
That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context. – eb
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 21, 2019
Badu loves you unconditionally
Badu speaks on R.Kelly at Chicago concert