Joy Behar, Abby Huntsman, Ana Navarro, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain had the conversation after video of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dancing to R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” was released Monday morning.
De Blasio, a prospective 2020 presidential candidate, was visiting churches in South Carolina on Sunday for the last day of what seemed to be a campaign trail across the state.
During his trip to a local church in the area, de Blasio appeared to flap his arms along to the choir’s rendition of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Courtney Gross of NY1 News shot the video and shared it on Twitter, saying, “I wonder if [Mayor Bill de Blasio] realizes who sings this song.”
During a news conference in Brooklyn unrelated to him dancing to R. Kelly, de Blasio said that he “didn’t know it was his song” playing in church, the New York Post reported.
“I know the song, but I didn’t know it was him. Period,” he added.
“I’m not a de Blasio fan in terms of his political policies, but this is the one time you’ll see me defending him,” Huntsman said. “I don’t think people should be judged off of other people’s bad behavior and the choices that they make.”
Hunstman also posed the questions, “What about the guy that turned on the song? Should we blame him too? Should we blame everyone in the room for dancing to it?”
“I don’t understand why the choir would play the song,” Hostin responded. “The problem is R. Kelly has been front page news for a long time.”
Grammy-winning R&B singer R. Kelly is facing two sets of charges.
Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse on Friday, Feb. 22, and spent the weekend in a Chicago jail. He was released from jail on Monday, Feb. 25, after a friend paid $100,000 of his $1 million bond to get him out.
Kelly continues to plead not guilty on all charges.
More recently, on March 6, Kelly was arrested for failure to pay $161,000 in outstanding child support payments to his ex-wife, Andrea “Drea” Kelly, for their three children. He was released three days later on March 9 after he paid the eight-months’ worth of child support in full.
Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told reporters outside of the Cook County Jail that Kelly’s been paying $20,000 “year after year” until he couldn’t make anymore payments.
“It’s now open season on R. Kelly,” Greenberg said. “Whatever the man does, he’s criticized. He sat down for an interview, he’s not hiding.”
Hostin believes it’s no longer appropriate for R. Kelly songs to be played.
“He’s canceled,” she said, later pointing out that R. Kelly profits off of people supporting his music. “I refuse to support an artist whose position or behavior I disagree with.”
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