Spotify halts promotion of R. Kelly’s music amid sexual misconduct allegations
Spotify plans to remove R. Kelly’s music from its algorithmic and official playlists under its new hate content and hateful conduct policy, a set of guidelines that enables Spotify to remove “hate content,” defined by the streaming service as “content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including race, religion, gender, identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”
Although R. Kelly’s music does not promote “hatred or violence against a group,” the recent accusations of sexual misconduct on the singer’s behalf, alleged by several young women who claim that Kelly coerced them into being members of a “cult,” violate the “hateful conduct” branch of the policy. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator,” Spotify’s policy states.
Spotify will consequently refrain from supporting R. Kelly’s music. “His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions—what we choose to program—to reflect our values,” Spotify said.
Kelly has since denied the allegations. Kelly’s representative told BuzzFeed News that Kelly “supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement.” “We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals—and in this case, it is unjust and off-target,” the rep added.
Photo Credit: BBC
H/T: The Hill