Everything You Haven't Heard on the Radio about R. Kelly: The Survivor's Perspective

March 6, 2019


I watched Gayle King's interview with R. Kelly with a tightness in my chest. He ranted and raved and played the victim while King confronted him about decades of accusations. Alleged sexual abuse survivors believe he is a predator who's been preying on vulnerable women and young girls. Some members of his inner circle confirmed their stories in an explosive documentary called "Surviving R Kelly." Now a new documentary featuring two men claiming Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children is causing a stir.  As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who has found her voice, I simply cannot stay silent.

I've worked in the radio industry since 1989 in formats ranging from country to R&B. I'm a music lover who currently works at a station where we mix pop music with comedy. The "Matt and Ramona Show" provides afternoon entertainment. This issue isn't funny and I understand people tune in for relief from the heavy headlines and stress of the day, but this is so much bigger than my show and the radio industry.  On one side we have fans of Kelly and Jackson, and on the other we have sexual abuse sympathizers and survivors debating about whether we should continue to enjoy artists who've never been convicted of a crime. For me the crime is our lack of sensitivity to the plight of victims and their families. 

Rachel Sutherland and Donna Scott recently gave me the opportunity to represent a survivor's perspective on their podcast, Smart Mouth Life.  If you'd like to better understand how far people will go to protect the people and institutions that allow predators to thrive, please listen.