Streaming platform Spotify has recently implemented a new policy called the the “Hate Content & Hateful Content” policy, which intends to remove music from its playlists from artists with serious accusations or convictions to their names.
The two most high profile artists removed from playlists are R. Kelly and XXXTentacion. Kelly has numerous accusations of sexual abuse to his name, and X has allegations of domestic abuse to his, and had a trial pending for these accusations.
Songs from these artists will still be available to stream, but they will no longer be promoted through the platforms playlists.
Spotify’s policy states:
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. 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.
Representatives from both artists have released statements condemning Spotify’s actions, with R. Kelly issuing the following statement to BuzzFeed:
We appreciate Spotify for continuing to make R. Kelly’s songs accessible to millions of people, although it will stop listing his songs on its official playlists.
Spotify is adopting a new “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy. R Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire.
Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him.
Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. 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.
XXXTentacion’s team also responded, with the following list of artists that should also be removed from playlists if he is: https://twitter.com/joecoscarelli/status/994635579525599232/photo/1