Lady Gaga Tweets About R. Kelly After Fans Demand She Speak Up

Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock.
Update: Lady Gaga has broken her silence on working with R. Kelly. The singer used Twitter to address the litany of serious and disturbing allegations of sexual abuse facing Kelly.
Gaga wrote that she was "1000%" behind the women who have come forward, and called the allegations "horrifying" and "indefensible". The tweet was posted after 9pm on 9th January and has been liked 97,000 times at the time of writing. The message comes after fans besieged Gaga online with pleas to address the allegations about Kelly and make her position clear. She also promised to remove the song they collaborated on, "Do What U Want", from streaming services.
Advertisement
Read the message in full below.
The original story below was published on 9th January 2019.
R. Kelly is featured on Gaga's 2013 Artpop single "Do What U Want" — a move that, even at the time, was controversial. Thanks to Surviving R. Kelly, the docuseries about Kelly's alleged abuse, accusations of sexual misconduct against Kelly that date back to the '90s have resurfaced. A music video for the song, which was never released and allegedly featured NSFW content, was directed by Terry Richardson, who also has a slew of sexual misconduct accusations against him. Fans specifically want Lady Gaga to denounce Kelly's actions. The star has thus far stayed silent about the accusations.
Lifetime's docuseries gave the opportunity to Kelly's victims to show how he allegedly used his power and clout to physically, sexually, and emotionally abuse women. Kelly has vehemently denied all accusations, while collaborators like Chance the Rapper and music industry peers like John Legend have spoken out against him.
Many see Gaga's silence on Kelly as antithetical to her professed support of survivors.
A supporter of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, Gaga has long been very outspoken about sexual assault awareness. The singer talked about being a rape survivor on Howard Stern's radio show in 2014, and, in 2015, released the song "Til It Happens To You" for campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground. The Star Is Born actress performed the song at the 2016 Oscars, sharing the stage with dozens of fellow sexual assault survivors. Gaga also publicly stood by Kesha, who accused producer Dr. Luke of sexual assault.
Advertisement
Given Gaga's huge platform and history discussing these issues publicly, it's understandable why fans are frustrated. Gaga's is a voice that gets people to listen about the aftermath of sexual violence — but whether she will ever speak for Kelly's alleged survivors is yet to be seen.
Refinery29 has reached out to Gaga for comment.
Advertisement

More from Music

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Fashion
A look at the subcultures around the world that colour what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
Beauty
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Travel
Explore the world's most vibrant cultural and culinary centres—in 60 seconds, of course.