Music streaming service Spotify has made an about-face and will no longer punish artists who created “harmful or hateful” content due to pressure from the music business, BuzzFeed reports.
The reversal comes a few weeks after the site said they would block artists like R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from its playlist recommendations, stating at the time, “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.”
The Swedish-based service is now singing a different tune saying in a statement on Friday that, “We don’t aim to play judge and jury…Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct.”
Representatives for R. Kelly, who’s faced years of sexual abuse allegations, told BuzzFeed in May, that their client makes music that “expresses 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,” his management team said. “Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit.”
Kendrick Lamar had reportedly threatened to pull his music from the site if the decision wasn’t reversed, per Bloomberg.
“While we believe our intentions were good,” the note said, “the language was too vague, we created confusion and concern, and didn’t spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.