Entertainment Music

Saturday 23 June 2018

Spotify reverses anti-hate policy that saw R Kelly removed from playlists

The music streaming service has said it is ‘moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct’.

Spotify said it would remove from its playlists music from R Kelly, who has been accused of sexual abuse (Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)
Spotify said it would remove from its playlists music from R Kelly, who has been accused of sexual abuse (Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)

By AP Reporters

Spotify is backtracking on a recent anti-hate policy after some music industry figures criticised it.

The policy “created confusion and concern” when it was announced on May 10 and Spotify “didn’t spend enough time getting input from our own team”, it said in a blog post.

Last month Spotify said it would remove from its playlists music from R Kelly, who has been accused of sexual abuse, and XXXTentacion, who is awaiting trial on charges he beat his pregnant girlfriend.

XXXTentacion has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and R Kelly faces no criminal case; he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.

ipanews_8889fea6-4a76-4e9d-8021-9c1c141405fe_embedded236792312
Spotify said the police had created confusion (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Some praised the company’s decision but others criticised it, saying it targeted specific artists.

Spotify has now said it is “moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct”.

Spotify did not officially say it would begin promoting XXXTentacion and R Kelly’s music.

XXXTentacion is now back on Spotify’s popular Rap Caviar playlist.

Spotify's values are now clear for all to see: Abusers take priority over survivors of their crimes. We will not forget their decision Shaunna Thomas, UltraViolet

Women’s advocacy group UltraViolet – which praised Spotify when it announced the policy – was not happy with the new decision.

“When music platforms promote abusers, they allow those abusers to reap in profits, lining their pockets in royalties and expanding their fan bases.

“This normalises violence against women,” Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, said.

“Spotify’s values are now clear for all to see: Abusers take priority over survivors of their crimes. We will not forget their decision.”

Press Association

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment