This week Spotify removed R&B singer R.Kelly from its playlists along with the campaign #MuteRKelly. There are demands for investigations into allegations that he abused women of color over the last 20 years. The singer is currently not charged with any crimes. Spotify cited its new hate content hateful conduct policy as justification and other streaming services have also removed R. Kelly from their playlists, although his music is still available on many platforms.
“It says we don’t censor content because of an artist or creator’s behavior but we want our editorial decisions, what we choose to program, to reflect our values.” says Hari Sreenivasan the speaker for Spotify in the interview, “If an artist or creator does something that’s harmful or hateful it may affect the ways we work with or support the creator or artist.”
Many people have reacted differently. On one hand, they are praising Spotify for taking a step towards not giving artists special treatment, but the other side is confused based on the fact that R. Kelly has not been charged with anything and other artists that they have on their playlists have had similar behavior but are not being affected by this policy.
Spotify has responded with a statement saying, “Is Spotify willing to put all of these different artists and all of that music off of their playlists if that’s the step that they’re willing to take?” Spotify has made new changes to this policy and has not released another statement on the situation on R. Kelly.