Yes, Taraji P. Henson and Erykah Badu Addressed Their R. Kelly Comments During the What Men Want Press Tour

The theatrical release of What Men Want is coming soon and the cast and crew are knee-deep in press junkets. Unfortunately, amidst the good-natured comedic fun of the film, a couple of the cast members’ controversial comments has overshadowed things a bit.

Which, for some reason, has been a trend lately. Making side-eye-worthy comments right when your movie and/or otherwise major event is to debut? During the PEAK time you likely don’t want to talk about anything else but your fucking project? *facepalm* I’m looking at you, Kevin Hart and Gina Rodriguez.

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Anyway.

What Men Want follows Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson), who, after being shut out of the “man’s world” of sports agents, discovers an edge when she suddenly gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts.

Henson came under fire when she indirectly implied Harvey Weinstein isn’t receiving the same smoke as R. Kelly, despite the former’s comeuppance arising far quicker than the latter.

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Henson attempted to clear things up during this past weekend’s junket.

“I actually was just making an observation, I never tried to say anything,” she insisted. “People know what side I’m on. Why would I launch a foundation for mental health in an African American community for people to go talk to someone about traumatic experiences and then side with the predator? Does that make sense?”

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The foundation she’s referencing is the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, by the way.

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Then, there’s Erykah Badu, who portrays Sister, the suspiciously-shady tarot card reader who offers Ali an herbal tea to get her mind right... or wrong. Badu also got her hands dirty in the Kelly kerfuffle, imploring her Chicago audience to give the R&B love instead of “crucifying” him.

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“There was no deep meaning,” confirmed the “Window Seat” singer. “Unconditional love is love. Love is love. I didn’t just pray for R. Kelly, I said I wanted to just send energy to everybody involved ... anybody that’s hurting as a result of being hurt. That’s what I said. And I just thought it was weird that people thought that was weird. Why was that weird?”

Basically, both ladies resorted to the classic “taken out of context” or “social media loves to attack” defense. Rinse, repeat.

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What Men Want releases in theaters Feb. 8, 2019.

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.