UPDATE: March 11, 1:44 p.m. EDT
According to TheBlast.com, steaming service Pandora will no longer actively promote R. Kelly’s music. The company said in a statement, “Pandora’s policy is to not actively promote artists with certain demonstrable behavioral, ethical or criminal issues. We approach each of these scenarios on a case–by–case basis to ensure we address components true to Pandora’s principles while not overreaching and avoiding censorship.” However, Kelly’s music will still be available to listen to, it will just no longer be promoted, like Spotify. This could be only the beginning of companies ending their relationship with the 51-year-old singer who has been accused of sexual assault allegation for over two decades.
R Kelly is finally feeling the effects of over 24 years of sexual assault allegations.
The #MuteRKelly hashtag went viral last week and Women of Color of Time’s Up asked for the following corporations to cut ties with the singer: RCA Records (the label currently produces and distributes his music), Ticketmaster (currently issuing tickets for R. Kelly’s show on May 11), Spotify and Apple Music (streaming platforms currently monetizing R. Kelly’s music) and Greensboro Coliseum Complex (North Carolina venue set to host an R. Kelly concert May 11). Spotify heard the call and has removed all of his music from their playlists.
Kellz is removed under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy Yep, Kellz is officially hate content because of his deplorable behavior. Spotify defines “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. When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or manually programming it on our service.”
Spotfify said in a statement, “We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. 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.”
Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s vp/head of content and marketplace policy, told Billboard, “When we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don’t want to associate ourselves with.” He continued, “So we’ve decided that in some circumstances, we may choose to not work with that artist or their content in the same way — to not program it, to not playlist it, to not do artist marketing campaigns with that artist.”
The chips are falling for the 51-year-old, but the real question is: Will he ever see jail time?