R. Kelly slammed by Time's Up leaders for alleged sexual misconduct

The Time's Up campaign is taking aim at R. Kelly over allegations that he has sexually abused women.

In an open letter posted on social media and on The Root, the women of color committee within Time's Up called on various companies to sever ties with Kelly for the "safety and dignity for women of all kinds."

The committee includes Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rimes and Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

The organization devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse issued a statement Monday urging further investigation into Kelly's behavior. It cites among other examples of alleged abuse: his marriage, which was later annulled, to the late Aaliyah when she was just 15, and child pornography charges against him. Kelly has denied wrongdoing, and he was acquitted in 2008 of the child pornography charges.

"R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement.  We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals---and in this case, it is unjust and off-target," a statment provided to Fox News from Kelly's management reads. "

The star's statement alleges that the women of the Time's Up movement have targeted him in a "greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time." 


"R Kelly's music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never—and will never—be silenced," he continued. "Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it. We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture."

Time's Up is requested action from his label RCA Records and from Apple Music and Spotify, which stream his music.

"... We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women of color and their families for over two decades now. And we declare with great vigilance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us - their time is up," the letter stated. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.