Streaming service Spotify has adopted a new “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy, under which the company has stated that; “While we don’t believe in censoring content because of an artist’s or creator’s behaviour, we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to programme — to reflect our values.”
Kelly, the R&B superstar of the 90’s, falls well outside these boundaries, as he is facing child pornography charges he was acquitted of in the 2000s, the most infamous being his short-lived marriage to fellow R&B star Aaliyah, only 15 at the time.
Kelly is alleged to have routinely preyed on young and underage women, and is also faced with allegations of being involved in a sex cult, housed over the singer’s properties in Chicago and Atlanta.
The #MeToo and Time’s Up organizations have repeatedly called for direct action against the singer, and his management has gone as far as to issue a statement saying, “we will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
They have even gone on to directly comment on Spotify’s actions, claiming, “Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit.”
Spotify’s new policy, which is detailed on its website, does walk a delicate line as it is forced to identify which matters of conduct they will deem to be in opposition of the platform’s social values. The company however seems unafraid, as they have boldly stated that they are attempting simply to comply with decisions which would reflect the company’s values, and in doing so they may sometimes be forced to censor content, or restrict access.
In their own words, “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.”
One thing is for sure – Spotify is officially walking the walk, when it comes to the breaking the shield of fame, Kelly and many other artists have benefited from.