The "Empire" star was slammed by fans after seemingly comparing the singer to Harvey Weinstein when she decided to look into the #MuteRKelly hashtag, and discovered it had 30,000 posts associated with it, while #MuteHarvey and #MuteHarveyWeinstein had less than 20 posts. Taraji admitted she was confused as to why Weinstein was receiving less hate than Kelly when they have both been accused of sexually abusing women, before her followers pointed out that the Kelly hashtag is actually used by people who are keen to stop the streaming of Kelly's music amid the abuse allegations.
Asked about the scandal during an interview with the Associated Press, Taraji explained that she had never meant to weigh in on the Kelly situation.
"I actually was just making an observation. I never tried to say anything. I was just making an observation, and people know what side I'm on," she said. "Why would I launch a foundation for mental health in an African-American community for people to go somewhere to talk to somebody about traumatic experiences and then side with the predator?"
"Does that make sense? So that backlash pretty much came from people that want to see me fail anyway, because there's no way if you follow my career, you got that confused."
And when the interviewer asked if she was surprised by the backlash she received from people who accused her of defending Kelly, the "What Men Want" star replied: "Sort of, kind of, you know. Humans are fickle. Anything you say or do can be taken totally out of context."
Kelly has denied all allegations of sexual abuse, while Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to five counts of felony sexual assault and is free on $1 million (£760,000) bail.
A pre-trial conference is set to take place on 7 March, ahead of his trial in May.