Last month, the #MuteRKelly hashtag went viral, which called on corporations, like streaming services, to cut ties with the singer. Pandora and Spotify agreed to no longer actively promote R. Kelly‘s music in their playlists. However, Spotify explained their decision under their new “hate content” policy, which is defined 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.”
Now it appears they regret this policy and R. Kelly’s music may soon return to Spotify’s playlists.
Spotify announced today they are removing the “hate conduct” policy after industry backlash. The company said in a statement today, “We don’t aim to play judge and jury. We aim to connect artists and fans – and Spotify playlists are a big part of how we do that. Our playlist editors are deeply rooted in their respective cultures, and their decisions focus on what music will positively resonate with their listeners. That can vary greatly from culture to culture, and playlist to playlist. Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists.”
The post also read, “We will continue to seek ways to impact the greater good and further the industry we all care so much about. We believe Spotify has an opportunity to help push the broader music community forward through conversation, collaboration and action. We’re committed to working across the artist and advocacy communities to help achieve that.”
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said at a conference on Wednesday, “The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn’t have hate speech on the service. It was never about punishing one individual.” He also added, “We rolled this out wrong and we could have done a much better job.”
As of now, Kelly’s music is not on the playlists.
The 51-year-old singer has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, despite over 24 years of allegations.