It would be a wonderful world if I could say that R. Kelly is a controversial figure. It would be a relief to my sense of decency and dignity if anytime his name was mentioned in dinner party conversation that people got animated and upset and got into furious debates about the “Pied Piper of R&B”. Unfortunately none of the above is the case. People just generally accept R. Kelly and ignore his crimes against decency, children and overall tastefulness because, as I often hear “Well….he’s SOOOOO talented though.” Usually this type of thought process wouldn’t annoy me if it weren’t for the fact that occasionally it’s so hypocritical that I have to change the channel, which is exactly what happened last Friday in The View.
ABC’s the View presents a gaggle of women to sit down and discuss current events in a way that won’t annoy, turn-off or offend anybody. They have their fake controversies, their token Republican, and overall the show is neither great television nor an apocalyptic sign of where our nation is headed. However if you want to get the hosts of the show heated (Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Sheppard, Joy Behar and Elizabeth Hassellbeck) start talking about Chris Brown and Rihanna. Some of the shows more memorable debates have revolved around Mr. Brown and his assault on then (and apparently now again) girlfriend Rihanna and subsequent outbursts on Good Morning America and various other outlets. While Sherri Sheppard and Whoopi have come to Chris’s defense, or at least called for the public to hold off judgment until all of the ‘facts’ are out there, Elizabeth and Behar and Walters are much less generous. All of that is fine, the whole point of the show is debate on light topics, but last Friday the strain to retain even a shred of pop culture decency went out the window when the ladies of the View had on R. Kelly to perform his song “When a Man Lies”.
R. Kelly is a paedophile ( And No I never watched the video of him peeing on underage girls!). He beat the rap, barely, because his victims were young, poor disenfranchised women who couldn’t mount a consistent story against him even though the evidence was obvious and his defense was porous. Everyone knows he slept (sleeps?) with underage girls. When you get asked in an interview “Are you attracted to teenage girls” and your answer is “….Define teenage…” it’s a pretty safe bet you’re a pervert who uses his money and fame to have sex with young girls. If Dave Chappelle and Aziz Ansari can see it, I’m pretty sure the rest of America can too. Yet, somehow, when “Kels” came onto the view last Friday no one said a peep. No one spent Thursday’s show making a speech about how they felt about R. Kelly appearing the next day, or whether or not he was truly a reformed man (sine unlike Chris Brown Kelly never admitted he was wrong). Nope, not a peep. I guess because it’s easier to attack Chris Brown because he’s still a relatively young talent, and his Drake, Rihanna love triangle story is still juicy than remind the public that R. Kelly is a sick monster that never paid any price for the abuse he’s heaped upon who knows how many young women.
The View aren’t supposed to be scions of popular culture but at the very least if they proclaim to care about women they should speak up for all women. Coming to the defense of Rihanna over Chris Brown is fine, but Ri-Ri is rich, has plenty of access to therapy, and obviously thinks Chris Brown has rehabilitated himself. Ignoring the victims of R. Kelly’s abuse, because Mr. Kelly is a bigger star, or has a new album to drop, or worse because his victims are nameless poor girls from Chicago is not okay. You can defend both. But apparently the hosts of the show save their outrage for topics that move the ratings needle.