As part of its new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct Policy, music streaming platform Spotify has removed all R Kelly content from its owned playlists.
With this new arrangement, the singer’s music will still be in the company’s database but will not get any active promotion on any of its curated playlists such as RapCaviar, Discover Weekly or New Music Friday, as well as its other genre- or mood-based playlists.
In a statement sent to Billboard, the company remarked: “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 behaviour, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values. 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.”
This move is not unconnected to the travails of R Kelly in the last several years where he has been severally accused of sexual violence, coercion and running a ‘sex cult’. Kelly has never been convicted for any of these allegations but that has not stopped the calls for his ostracization especially with the #MuteKellyMovement that was launched late April. The singer has constantly denied these allegations, describing it as attempts to destroy his legacy.
Spotify speaks further through Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s VP/Head of content and marketplace policy:”When we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don’t want to associate ourselves with.” He goes further to say: “So we’ve decided that in some circumstances, we may choose to not work with that artist or their content in the same way — to not program it, to not playlist it, to not do artist marketing campaigns with that artist.”
Another artiste who is also affected by the new policy is the controversial rapper XXXTentacion who has also been confirmed as removed from playlists.
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