Report: Apple and Pandora Join Spotify in Ending Promotion of R. Kelly Music
Apple Music and Pandora have removed certain songs by R. Kelly from promoted playlists, according to music news sites Pitchfork and The Blast, adding to the list of streaming music services that have made the hit artist’s music more difficult to find after allegations of sexual misconduct.
R. Kelly’s music no longer shows up in Apple Music’s ‘Best Slow Jams of the 90s, Vol. 1‘ and Vol. 2 playlists, Pitchfork reported. However, playlists titled ‘R. Kelly Essentials,’ ‘R. Kelly: Influences,’ and ‘Inspired by R. Kelly’ are still available.
Pandora did not confirm or deny that it was removing R. Kelly from playlists, however, the company said it will no longer “actively promote artists with certain demonstrable behavioral, ethical or criminal issues,” according to a statement. The music-streaming company has been working on updating its policies, including handling artist misconduct.
“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,” Pandora said in the statement.
On Thursday, Spotify announced that it would no longer include Kelly’s music on its curated playlists, as part of a new policy.
“We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly,” Spotify told Billboard. “His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it.
“We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values. 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.”
Apple Music’s removal of R. Kelly from playlists reportedly “pre-dates” Spotify’s recent similar decision, according to Pitchfork. Fortune contacted Apple for further information and will update as necessary.
R. Kelly has been accused of multiple counts of sexual misconduct dating back to the 1990s. He settled multiple lawsuits with women, and was acquitted by a jury on charges of possessing child pornography. Recently BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone have published pieces alleging abusive and controlling behavior.
Last month, members of the Time’s Up Women of Color committee joined the #MuteRKelly movement, and women including director Ava DuVernay and showrunner Shonda Rhimes called on women of color and companies—including Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora—to boycott R. Kelly.
R. Kelly has denied the allegations made against him, providing the following statement to BuzzFeed following the Time’s Up call to #MuteRKelly: