“Unfortunately I think we look the other way,” revealed the beloved talk show host
In an exclusive interview with Popculture.com, Arsenio Hall opened up about the sexual allegations against two musical icons and he shared some incedibly insight about how we as a culture pick and choose our outrage and where we wish to pay attention.
“I think a lot of show business and society is sometimes to blame because we turn our head and look the other way,” Hall told Popculture while discussing Kelly marriage with R&B legend Aaliyah.
“I’m old enough to have met Aaliyah when she was alive and you know I remember looking at her and the first thing I thought was, wow, this is the young lady,” Hall shared. “And we’re aware of it.”
Hall also revealed a decision he had to make when Kelly requested to come onto his show after the death of Nelson Mandela. The R&B star wanted to perform a song but Hall says he was faced with a moral dilemma.
“When I did the reboot of my talk show the night Nelson Mandela died somebody called me and said, ‘R. Kelly called the office. He wants to come on and play a song for Nelson Mandela that he played in Nelson’s house on Nelson’s piano.’ And on a day like that — I’m an executive producer of the show — I’m like geez, because I know, I know who he really is,” Hall remembered. “Now sure, I’ve never seen his tapes, but we know the rumors and we know what we hear. And unfortunately I think we look the other way.”
By the looks of a photo posted in 2013 on his official Facebook page, Hall still let the shamed singer onto his show to perform. Some fans were excited to see Kelly perform and replied with comments showering him with love and support even despite the previous allegations. While some voiced their disappointment in seeing him on Hall’s platform.
“I don’t support pedophiles,” commented one woman.
Another said, “Sorry Arsenio I will not be watching…I don’t care about his song for Nelson Mandela R Kelly molested young girls and just because he has money he got away with it. I dont support him I don’t buy his music at all.”
When asked about Michael Jackson’s allegations and the recent HBO documentary Leaving Neverland Hall said, “I love, I adore the catalog of Michael Jackson, but at the same time I know I have to kind of put some things in the back of my mind and ignore some things and you know, it’s like you look at these things and you listen to Oprah and a lot of people are angry at Oprah, a lot of people are angry but the bottom line is maybe not enough of us speak out.”
Silence is absolutely a factor when it comes to the continued sexual abuse of children. But as some of the comments show under Hall’s post about R. Kelly. Some folks just don’t care very much about the allegations.
One woman wrote, “No matter what happened in this mans past he still is a wonderful song writer, and singer!”
Another woman excused the allegations pointing to the fact that pedophiiles live in many neighborhoods: Y’all need to let shit GO! Damn how long ago was R Kelly in the media?? Pedophiles live in every neighborhood, hell and some are your own family members. Not mine, just making a statement.”
What are your thoughts? Is sexual assault rampant in our communities because when we address it, it goes without punishment? Let us know in the comments.
Written By: Michae’ Baisden