R Kelly's Responds To Spotify Pulling His Music Following Sexual Assault Allegations
Spotify has announced that it will no longer promote R Kelly's music on its platform, following allegations of sexual assault against the musician.
"We are removing R. Kelly's music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly," Spotify said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed.
"We don't censor content because of an artist's or creator's behaviour, but we want our editorial decisions - what we choose to program - to reflect our values," the company continued.
"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."
Now R Kelly's management team has responded to Spotify's decision, telling BuzzFeed in a statement that the streaming service's actions are 'without merit' and that R Kelly has 'never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire'.
The statement read: "We appreciate Spotify for continuing to make R. Kelly's songs accessible to millions of people, although it will stop listing his songs on its official playlists.
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"Spotify is adopting a new 'Hate Content & Hateful Conduct' policy. R Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire.
"Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him.
"Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. It is acting based on false and unproven allegations.
"It is bowing to social media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers.
"Meanwhile, though, Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature.
"Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognise this."
R Kelly has long denied the allegations of sexual assault that have been made against him.
On Thursday, Spotify also announced its new 'Hate Content and Hateful Conduct' policy, explaining that it will monitor hateful 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'.
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