Pursuing R. Kelly: The Reporter Who Never Gave Up

Pursuing R. Kelly: The Reporter Who Never Gave Up

The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in pop music criticism, trends and news.

For most of the past two decades, as accusations of sexual impropriety have been leveled against the R&B superstar R. Kelly, his career continued largely unimpeded — even following his 2008 trial on child pornography charges. (He was found not guilty.)

During this time, only one reporter consistently pursued the story of Mr. Kelly’s alleged misdeeds: Jim DeRogatis, who was, at the beginning, the pop music critic of The Chicago Sun-Times, and is now a co-host of the radio show “Sound Opinions” and an associate professor at Columbia College who also contributes to Buzzfeed.

Over the last year, as the national conversation around sexual misbehavior has shifted, Mr. Kelly has begun to feel a reckoning. A #MuteRKelly movement has found some success in striking him in his pocketbook. Concerts have been canceled, and his music has been removed from promotional playlists at Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.

On this week’s Popcast, Mr. Caramanica speaks with Mr. DeRogatis about his coverage of Mr. Kelly’s legal troubles, from the earliest rumors to allegations as recent as this year, as well as the usefulness of holding Mr. Kelly’s enablers to account, and the validity of moral litmus tests for art.

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Email your questions, thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in pop music to popcast@nytimes.com.

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