Yesterday, Spotify announced that it would stop promoting R. Kelly’s music through its curated playlists. The decision was made as part of the platform’s new hate content policy and came in response to calls for an industry-wide boycott of Kelly due to his numerous sexual abuse allegations.
Now, according to Pitchfork, Apple Music, too, has been pulling Kelly’s material from its own featured playlists. The changes were reportedly put into motion “quietly” and before Spotify’s public announcement.
Apple isn’t alone in their decision today, either. As The Blast reports, Pandora has joined in the movement to minimize Kelly’s presence on its platform. A statement provided to Pitchfork reads:
“Pandora’s policy is to not actively promote artists with certain demonstrable behavioral, ethical or criminal issues. We approach each of these scenarios on a case–by–case basis to ensure we address components true to Pandora’s principles while not overreaching and avoiding censorship.”
Along with streaming services, Time’s Up and the #MuteRKelly campaign called have called on the singer’s label, RCA Records, as well as Ticketmaster, to cease their relationships with the singer.
“We stand linked with our sisters and will no longer tolerate the predatory behavior of R. Kelly to go unchecked,” said actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell, member of Time’s Up’s Women of Color (WOC) committee, which also includes includes Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay and TV magnate Shonda Rhimes. “This is a call to action to #MuteRKelly. His music must be turned down and the voices of these brave survivors must be heard.”
Not everyone is supportive of the boycott, however. A new report from Billboard anonymously quotes several music industry executives who believe Spotify’s policy is a “slippery slope.” “It’s very odd to start this policy with two artists, even if rightfully so,” one publishing executive told Billboard. “Spotify needs to make sure that this policy goes across the board in every genre.”
“What about artists on a label run by someone who has harassed interns? Feels like a slippery slope for them,” another executive is quoted telling Billboard.
Although Kelly has long faced sexual misconduct allegations, last year an especially damning BuzzFeed report accused him of holding women in a multi-state sex cult. Just last week, BuzzFeed published another exposé further revealing more details of that cult, plus additional allegations from two women.