Already facing a 10-count indictment for aggravated sexual abuse, singer R. Kelly has to answer to yet another tape that has surfaced allegedly showing him abusing girls, making it the third tape to turn up this month. While his apparent history of sexual abuse is now fairly well-documented, he still has his supporters, many of them women.
“I am an R. Kelly fan. I’m here for the music and nothing else,” one woman says in the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly.
In the final episode, fans of Kelly are asked what they think about the charges against him, and it’s almost always some variation of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ or ‘Who are we to judge?’
On Saturday Night Live this weekend, cast member Pete Davidson did a skit that partly addressed this brand of apologist fandom, comparing die-hard fans of R. Kelly to followers of the Catholic Church.
At the start of the skit, Davidson asked, “If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan?”
“I don’t really see the difference,” Davidson continued. “Only, one’s music is significantly better.”
“The reason everybody is so upset is because R. Kelly and Michael Jackson made great music. If I found out Macklemore did some weird stuff, I’d be happy to free up the space on my iPhone.”
He went on.
“With guys like R. Kelly, the rule should be if you want to listen to their music you just have to admit that they’re bad people. … All I’m saying is that pretending these people never existed is maybe not the solution. The rule should be … you can appreciate their work, but only if you admit what they did. … Because if it’s that important to you, at least own it.”
According to the Friendly Atheist‘s Hemant Mehta, the only flaw in Davidson’s comparison is that R. Kelly is at least facing justice — something that has eluded many of the Catholic Church’s worst abusers.
Only a fraction of predator priests have seen anything resembling justice. Catholics still attend services like the abuse and cover-ups never happened — and we treat their attendance as perfectly normal.
Watch the video below, via Saturday Night Live:
Featured image via screen grab