This week, Cara Delevingne joined the many celebrities who’ve spoken out in the wake of Lifetime’s six-part documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which documents decades of the 52-year-old R&B singer’s alleged abuse of and predatory behavior towards young, often underage women. Delevingne is also, however, one of the few who have taken it upon themselves to do so once again: less than 24 hours after finishing the series and sharing her initial reaction to it on Instagram, she went right back to speaking out—including, this time, against some of her (now erstwhile) followers.
“I am so shocked and outraged at how long this has gone on. My heart goes out to all the victims of his emotional and physical abuse and their families,” she first posted. “This man is a predator that feeds [off] of power and in my opinion is far worse than Harvey Weinstein and needs to be held accountable.”
Her comparison between Kelly and the now disgraced former Hollywood mogul is particularly of note, given that Delevingne was one of the dozens of women in Hollywood who decried Weinstein as a serial sexual predator beginning in October of 2017. (Delevingne issued a statement about her own experiences with his harassment less than a week after the New York Times published its first exposé.)
Delevingne did, however, also acknowledge that the situation is more nuanced, and that she named Weinstein to stress the importance of holding those accused of such misconduct accountable. “I am not trying to compare the two, my point is, Harvey is being investigated and R[.] Kelly is not,” she continued. “We have ourselves to blame in this situation, I knew of the allegations but failed to try and understand the severity of the situation. I still continued to listen to his music. Stop separating art from the artist, just because he sings like an angel, doesn’t mean he is one.”
Even though John Legend, Chance the Rapper, Jada Pinkett Smith, and more celebrities, whom she made a point to thank, have at this point all also condemned Kelly, Delevingne’s statement didn’t come without backlash. “This is me realizing I lost more than 50,000 followers yesterday after posting about @rkelly,” she posted the following day, adding that this was in fact typical. (According to Delevingne, she loses followers “every time” that she says something “real,” that she truly believes in, or “something that makes people think and ask questions”—a phenomenon she appeared to react to in the photos accompanying her caption, which zoomed in on her making a half-amused, half-exasperated expression.)
Delevingne also stated her goal to be more confrontational in the new year—something she previously avoided “at all costs.””Silence causes suppression and suppression causes sickness. Not anymore!,” she continued, bidding farewell to her “backwards followers” and welcoming “forward thinkers,” concluding with the previously trending hashtag “#MuteRKelly,” which prompted a new wave of condemnations of Kelly last year. (In response, Kelly once again denied the many accusations—this time, via a song titled “I Admit It” that clocked in at 19 minutes.)
While Delevingne also expressed her approval of Nick Cannon’s statement decrying both Kelly and the industry’s “male chauvinistic behavior,” she also racked up quite a few of her own shows of support from celebrities, including Chelsea Handler, Joan Smalls, and her former costar Dane DeHaan. Amy Schumer echoed Delevingne’s sentiments, writing, “Losing those followers is good! I lost a lot when I came out as hating Trump early. Good riddance!” (Eight hours after she posted it, Delevingne’s post has since amassed nearly 1.5 million likes.)
Meanwhile, there’s been another rather sickening turn of events since Surviving R. Kelly premiered: according to Nielsen Music, streams of Kelly’s music have nearly doubled in the days following its release.