In a shocking move, Spotify has announced it will no longer promote R. Kelly’s music, as part of its new policy relating to “hate content” and “hateful conduct”.
While his songs will remain available to stream, the R&B singer will no longer appear in Spotify-curated playlists. The move, first reported by Billboard, comes as pressure mounts on R. Kelly amid sexual assault allegations against him. Spotify have also announced they will be rolling out a new content policy which will no longer promote what they describe as “hateful conduct”.
“We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we choose to program – to reflect our values,” the company wrote in a statement. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”
They cite “hatred or violence” based on “race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability” as being liable for policing the service.
Another artist impacted by Spotify’s new policy is rapper XXXTENTACION, who also had his music removed from official playlists and recommendation features.
In response, R. Kelly and XXXTENTACION both released statements.
“Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit,” the statement reads. “It is acting based on false and unproven allegations. It is bowing to social-media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers. Meanwhile, though, Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature. Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this.” - Released via Buzzfeed.
R. Kelly's management team responded to Spotify's decision to take him off their playlists, saying the music streaming service's "actions are without merit." pic.twitter.com/YWn8ZmG2VA— Krystie Lee Yandoli (@KrystieLYandoli) May 10, 2018
“I don’t have a comment, just a question. Will Spotify remove all the artists listed below from playlists?,” said Aishah White, a spokeswoman for XXXTentacion, via email. White would later name list musicians like Gene Simmons, Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne and Dr. Dre, who have been accused over the years of sexual misconduct or physical violence.
a response from XXXTentacion’s team on Spotify's decision to remove him from playlists pic.twitter.com/ivtEDJ2yGS— Joe Coscarelli (@joecoscarelli) May 10, 2018
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