Is R. Kelly getting a pass from his “alleged” past behavior?

In the two weeks since Kelly released his latest studio album, Black Panties, the conversation about him and why he has gotten a pass from music publications has been rekindled and hotly debated.

Part of it is because of the explicit nature of the album but most of it has to do with the project’s artwork and related marketing photos.

In an article published by former Washington Wizard and father, Etan Thomas, he explains why the half-naked girl sitting on R. Kelly’s lap doesn’t sit well with him—and shouldn’t with you, either.

Thomas goes on to say, “He didn’t pick a sexy, grown-looking woman for a reason. He picked a woman with a body that resembles that of a teenager—and a face we can’t see. And whether or not that’s intentional, it almost seems as if he’s saying, I can play little girls like an instrument, and there is nothing you can do about it.”

We all know about R. Kelly’s annulled marriage to then-underage Aaliyah; and the infamous video with  a 14-year-old. But that part of the story isn’t new, and we all must remember that Kelly has never been convicted of a sex offense.

People will rationalize the most contemptible behaviors because of their love and appreciation for what an artist creates. And that seems like what’s happening here.

Do we judge R. Kelly on his artistic merit or  on his peculiar preferences?  Is R. Kelly getting a pass or is this another marketing gimmick to sell records?

What do you think?  How do you feel?  We want to hear your views.