Spotify Removes R. Kelly From Its Playlists After Sexual Misconduct Allegations


Spotify has removed R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from their playlists as part of the streaming giant's new "hate content and hateful conduct" policy.

While the record producer has previously "unequivocally" denied allegations he was keeping young women against their will in a sex-obsessed cult, a recent BBC Three documentary brought the claims back to the forefront.

"His music will nonetheless be out there on the service, however Spotify won't actively put it up for sale". However, "we want our editorial decisions - what we choose to program - to reflect our values". However, Spotify taking the lead could very well set off a domino effect, at least on streaming platforms.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Kelly says the accusations "perpetuated by the media" are an "attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy that I have worked so hard to build". Kelly's music will still be available on the platform, but now users will have to search for his music specifically in order to hear it. It is still unclear what other artists might be affected.

Kelly has been accused of a litany of disturbing sexual acts for several years, some involving drugging underage women or training them as sex slaves, but more attention has been paid to his behavior as the #MeToo movement gains popularity and women feel more comfortable going public with their stories. The new policy defines hateful conduct as "something that is especially harmful or hateful", such as violence against children and sexual violence.

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The move marks the first application of Spotify's new policy on "Hate Content & Hateful Conduct", which states an artist's behaviour may result in changes in how Spotify promotes their content.

Kelly has faced sexual misconduct allegations since the 1990s, Us Weekly added.

However, we do not tolerate hate content on Spotify - 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.

But Spotify also acknowledged "cultural standards and sensitivities vary widely" and said they would always "look at the entire context".

Spotify also told Billboard that they are implementing new measures including internal monitoring, consultation with advocacy groups, and user reports.