Campaigners call on Spotify to ban more artists over 'hateful conduct'

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

American R&B singer R. Kelly's music was removed from playlists and recommendations on Spotify, the streaming service said on Thursday, after a campaign to boycott the singer who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

In an open letter to Spotify boss Daniel Ek, women's advocacy group Ultraviolet states that "on behalf of our one million members, we applaud and support this choice".

"Thank you for taking the important first step of removing infamous abusers R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from your official playlists", the letter reads. "That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual artist", Thomas writes in her open letter, according to a report by Billboard. "Your action demonstrates that Spotify is following the lead of Black women who demanded that these two men, who have sexually and physically abused women for years, not be promoted and celebrated". Apple Music and Pandora also followed suit soon afterwards.

Kelly has been under renewed scrutiny after celebrities involved in the Time's Up movement, including Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes, called on music industry executives to cut ties with Kelly over the allegations.

Jonathan Prince, Spotify's vp/head of content and marketplace policy, previously said: "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".

Last July Kelly, whose given name is Robert, denied accusations in an article by USA media outlet BuzzFeed News that he was keeping a household of young women in a "cult" atmosphere. "Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit".

The once iconic singer has used his Friday night concert in North Carolina to perform a string of vulgar acts against recent harassment allegations.