Cent: Spotify 'wrong' to remove R Kelly from playlists

Cent: Spotify 'wrong' to remove R Kelly from playlists

Regarding R Kelly, Spotify said that whilst they won't censor content because an artist's or creator's behaviour they want their "editorial decisions - what we choose to program - to reflect our values".

In short: "in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator".

Internet radio powerhouse Pandora is joining Spotify in curtailing the promotion of artists with questionable or criminal conduct, like R. Kelly. Time's Up released a statement on April 30 detailing the allegations against Kelly, promoting the #MuteRKelly hashtag and calling on specific corporations to limit his public exposure.

Spotify's decision to remove the R&B artist R.Kelly's songs from parts of its streaming music platform was a considered response to consumers' demands that brands behave in a more socially responsible way. On Thursday the publication reported that Spotify had scrubbed the singer, who has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct, from all of its curated playlists and algorithm-based recommendations. Specifically, Time's Up asked for action from RCA Records, Kelly's label; Spotify and Apple Music, which stream Kelly's catalog; and Ticketmaster, which has sold tickets to his concerts. Though his music is still technically available on the service, Spotify will no longer promote it.

In a statement published on Variety, his management said: "R. Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire". Kelly has long denied accusations that he victimizes young women and lures them into living at one of his multiple rental properties under the false pretense of making them successful recording artists, then keeps them there under duress. "However, we do not tolerate hate content on Spotify". As a result, their music will be removed from all Spotify-owned playlists and recommendations.

So it's not about removing music from Spotify, but rather about not playlisting or promoting it. It comes with an internal content-monitoring tool called Spotify AudioWatch, which will scan the service's catalogue for music that has been "flagged as hate content on specific worldwide registers" so that it can be removed from Spotify. For nearly 25 years, women have been accusing the singer of sexual assault and misconduct. A #MuteRKelly hashtag has propagated through Twitter of late.

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