R. Kelly has been removed from Spotify’s editorial and algorithmic playlists, according to a report from Billboard. The decision is part of a newly implemented policy against hate and hateful conduct, which Kelly’s personal conduct violates. The R&B singer has been accused by numerous women of sexual violence, including statutory rape, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and running a “sex cult.”
“We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly,” Spotify says in a statement. “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.”
R. Kelly’s music isn’t entirely being removed from Spotify. The company chooses not to “censor” what music is made available on the streaming platform, though it is making a concerted effort not to promote music by artists such as Kellly or XXXTentacion, who was also recently removed from Spotify’s curated and algorithmic playlists on account of accusations of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering.
Spotify’s Hate Content & Hateful Conduct Policy seeks to remove “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.” According to Billboard, Spotify worked with various advocacy organizations to shape the policy, including The Southern Poverty Law Center, The Anti-Defamation League, Color Of Change, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), GLAAD, Muslim Advocates and the International Network Against Cyber Hate.