Spotify removes songs by R. Kelly


Spotify removes songs by R. Kelly

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody

Associated Press

NEW YORK

Spotify has removed R. Kelly’s music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.

A spokesman said Thursday that Kelly’s music is no longer available on the streaming service’s owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations. His music will still be available, but Spotify will not promote it.

Kelly’s representative didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The new policy defines hateful conduct as “something that is especially harmful or hateful,” such as violence against children and sexual violence.

It’s another blow for the R&B superstar, who has been battling allegations that he has sexually abused women for decades. While Kelly has denied the allegations and was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography charges, recent attention and a #MuteRKelly campaign has put the singer, songwriter and producer under more scrutiny. He was recently dropped from a concert in his hometown of Chicago, and there is pressure to cancel a concert today in Greensboro, N.C.

In a statement, the founders of the #MuteR.Kelly movement applauded Spotify’s move.

“It is important that those who market the work of problematic entertainers stand, in the end, with their company’s collective values,” it read in part. “We find this decision by Spotify a victory, and is just another step in our mission to Mute. R. Kelly.”

In its policy, Spotify made it clear that it doesn’t tolerate “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.”

Kelly’s music doesn’t apply – it’s been defined by its explicit sexual nature – but he’s also written love ballads, pop songs and even gospel music.

However, the new policy also delves into an artist’s behavior.

“While we don’t believe in censoring content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, we want our editorial decisions to reflect our values,” the statement said. “So, in some circumstances, 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.”

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