Black-owned Chicago station pulls R. Kelly off the air

Chicago’s 95.1 FM Clubsteppin station will no longer play any music by R.Kelly because of the controversy that resurfaced after Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary series.

Lamont Watts, CEO of the station that launched in August, said he made the decision because the station’s audience is primarily African-American women.

“As a leader of a team where women contribute unselfishly, in a business where the majority of our audience is women, as a son, a brother and a husband of a devoted family, and to hear and see the pain and suffering that is real for so many, effective immediately, we will no longer play the music of R. Kelly,” Watts said in an announcement posted on Facebook.

Watts said watching the documentary gave him “mixed emotions.”

“I don’t want to pass judgment, I just look at women at a larger scale. This is bigger, bigger than the women who were saying something about the R. Kelly situation,” Watts said. “As you look at both sides and everything going on, and the #MeToo movement, we felt it was the right thing to do.”

Watts said he’s gotten mixed reactions from listeners, some who’ve thanked him for pulling R.Kelly’s music and others who said they’ll no longer listen to the station.

“I say that everybody has a right to their own opinion, and we respect that,” he said.


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