Why Only Black Artists Here? Spotify Pulls R. Kelly, XXXTentacion From Playlists for ‘Hateful Conduct’

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Written by Dana Sanchez

 

Spotify has removed R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from its playlists and will no longer actively promote the musical artists due to “hate content” or “hateful conduct”. Both have been accused of sexual misconduct.

A new “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy at Spotify is designed to “be consistent with (Spotify’s) distinct roles in music and media,” BBC reported.

The company describes hate content as “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.”

Users of the streaming service will still be able to find the singers’ music, but Spotify will no longer promote it on recommendation features, the company announced Thursday.

“We want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values,” Spotify said.

A growing chorus of critics wants to hold R. Kelly responsible after decades of accusations of sexual misconduct, New York Times reported.

He is not actually facing any criminal charges and was acquitted in 2008 in a child porn case that took six years to bring to trial. He has faced lawsuits and news reports of alleged sexual coercion and abuse of young girls and women but denied the accusations.

“Last week, the Time’s Up organization, which formed around the #MeToo movement to support victims of sexual abuse, joined a grass-roots #MuteRKelly campaign that has called on his record label and concert promoter, as well as local venues, radio stations and streaming services to cease its support of the platinum-selling R&B singer,” NYTimes reported.

The #MuteRKelly campaign called for the singer to be boycotted. The hashtag was created by Kinyette Tisha Barnes and co-founded by Oronike Odeleye, who organized protests to get the musician’s concerts canceled.

Lupita Nyong’o and John Legend supported #MuteRKelly, BBC reported.

“Kelly’s music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never—and will never—be silenced,” Kelly’s management team said in a statement to Variety, published April 30. “Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it.  We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”

Singer XXXTentacion is facing charges in Florida including aggravated battery of a pregnant woman and witness tampering, NYT reported. He was also removed from Spotify playlists as of Thursday, according to a Spotify representative. XXXTentacion was featured on the popular Rap Caviar playlist Wednesday.

Not everyone is buying into the #MuteRKelly campaign. There are many people on his side. The hashtag #ISupportRKelly has gotten traction, NewsOne reported on May 4.

Spotify said in a statement: “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.”

The streaming service also noted that it has “thought long and hard about how to handle content that is not hate content itself, but is principally made by artists or other creators who have demonstrated hateful conduct personally,” NYT reported.

Are only Black artists being removed from Spotify’s playlists?

Some of the men in the music industry who have been accused of sexual assault are included on a list published Nov. 28, 2017, by Break Thru Radio Today. BTR is a media platform that offers on-demand podcast, video, and editorial content:

  • Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys): Accused of rape
  • Evan Stephens Hall (Pinegrove): Accused of sexual coercion
  • Jesse Lacey (Brand New): Accused of sexual abuse and solicitation of explicit photographs from a minor
  • Ben Hopkins (PWR BTTM): Accused of sexual assault
  • Matt Mondanile (Real Estate/Ducktails): Accused of sexual assault
  • Alex Calder (solo artist): Accused of sexual assault
  • Ruben Gallego (Beach Slang): Accused of sexual assault
  • Ethan Kath (Crystal Castles): Accused of sexual assault and abuse of former bandmate Alice Glass
  • Jake McElfresh (Front Porch Step): Accused of lascivious communication with underage girls
  • Ian Watkins (Lostprophets): Currently in prison for multiple sexual offenses
  • Heathcliff Berru (publicist): Accused of sexual assault and harassment
  • Kirt Webster (publicist): Accused of sexual assault
  • Twiggy Ramirez (Marilyn Manson): Accused of rape
  • William Bensussen (Gaslamp Killer): Accused of rape
  • Dr. Luke (Producer): Accused of sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abusing the singer Kesha.
  • R. Kelly: Accused of several sexual relationships with teens
  • Luke Rockets (With Confidence): Accused of sexual harassment of a minor
  • Glenn Harvey (Moose Blood): Accused of sexual assault
  • Shaun White (Bad Things): Accused of sexual assault
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers: Band members accused of sexual harassment
  • Russell Simmons (Def Jam Recordings): Accused of sexual misconduct