May 24, 2022

Spotify Removes R. Kelly Music From Its Playlists As Part of New Hate Content & Hateful Conduct Policy

The R. Kelly’s backlash is NOT letting up anytime soon. Spotify has now joined the #MuteRKelly boycott.

That’s according to Billboard reports, beginning (May 10), Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly’s music on any of the streaming service’s editorial or algorithmic playlists.

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Under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy Spotify is putting into effect, the company will no longer promote the R&B singer’s music in any way, removing his songs from flagship playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly or New Music Friday, for example, as well as its other genre- or mood-based playlists. Spotify told Billboard in a statement:

“We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. 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. 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.”

Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s vp/head of content and marketplace policy, told Billboard;

“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. 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.”

Last week, The Washington Post spoke with six women who said they were in abusive relationships with the Kelly, two of whom, Tracy Sampson and Patrice Jones, have never publicly spoken about him before. That article also recounted incidents from the early 2000s in which Sony Music executives at the time allegedly enabled or did not attempt to curtail Kelly’s behavior.