A group of Scottish clergywomen say a cruise ship DJ began 'mocking' them after they asked him to stop playing the music of R Kelly because of the sexual assault allegations surrounding the singer.
The women, who are members of the female clergy group 'RevGalBlogPals', claim the row unfolded during an eight-day cruise from Miami to the west coast of Scotland.
The Rev Teri Peterson, minister of St John's Church, Gourock, in Inverclyde and president of 'RevGalBlogPals', has lodged a formal complaint with operator Carnival Cruise Line over the incident.
She says that some women of colour in the group were dancing in the ship's nightclub when the DJ started playing R Kelly songs. Despite the clergywomen asking him to stop, she says their request was ignored.
'The DJ started to play R Kelly and was asked by our group to put it off because of everything surrounding the singer,' she said, according to the Huffington Post.
'He refused and then began singing and dancing along and mocking us,' she said.
She said the mocking continued when the group encountered the DJ again later in the evening. She also accused Carnival Cruise Line of doing little to assist them after they complained to staff.
She alleges that the complaints were not taken seriously until white members of the group followed-up the complaints.
'I don't want anyone to have the experience our group members had, of being harassed by staff and dismissed by those meant to help,' Peterson said.
Carnival Cruise Line told the Huffington Post that the group's concerns had been 'listened to' and denied any wrongdoing in a statement issued to the news site.
'We had a small group of guests who took issue with two songs that our DJ was playing in a nightclub well after midnight,' a spokesperson for the cruise line told the Huffington Post.
'While we only play radio versions of popular music that have been sanitised so that offensive language has been removed, we do not make a habit of banning music as we have a broad cross section of guests.
'Our shipboard team listened to the concerns of these guests and provided a goodwill gesture. We are proud of the many ways we've been recognised for our commitment to diversity and inclusion and every day we work to make sure our guests and crew feel welcome and part of the Carnival family. We're sorry this group feels otherwise.'
R Kelly has been denounced by several high profile figures in the music industry, including Lady Gaga, John Legend, Christina Aguilera and Chance the Rapper, after the documentary 'Surviving R Kelly' aired on LifeTime last month.
The documentary features the stories of women who claim to have been mentally, physically and sexually abused by the R & B singer.