After Spotify announced it would no longer promote R. Kelly’s music, a women’s advocacy group is pushing the streaming service to add other allegedly abusive artists to that roster.
UltraViolet executive director Shaunna Thomas wrote an open letter to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek thanking him for removing the music of Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion from their official playlists as part of its Hate Content and Hateful Conduct public policy.
“Your action demonstrates that Spotify is following the lead of Black women who demanded that these two men, who have sexually and physically abused women for years, not be promoted and celebrated,” the letter from the six-year-old organization said. “On behalf of our one million members, UltraViolet applauds and supports this choice.”
But UltraViolet now hopes the streaming service — along with Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play and Pandora — will get on board with banning other artists in a similar fashion. Chris Brown, Nelly, Eminem, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Eagles’ Don Henley, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Tekashi 6ix9ine and Ted Nugent are among the non-exhaustive list of musicians the organization wants dealt with.
Brown has been listed in a lawsuit after a woman claimed she was raped and sexually assaulted at a party at the singer’s home. Nelly has also been facing mounting sexual assault allegations and also faces a lawsuit from a woman who claims he forced her to have vaginal and oral sex.
“Every time a famous individual continues to be glorified despite allegations of abuse, we wrongly perpetuate silence by showing survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence that there will be no consequences for abuse,” the letter stated. “That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual artist.”
After Spotify announced its plans to remove Kelly’s music from officially curated playlists, his camp sent a statement to BuzzFeed blasting the service for “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,” it added.
In response to the latest call from UltraViolet, several Twitter users voiced displeasure.
“Bruh if @Spotify takes off Chris Brown, Eminem, or Nelly … I’m canceling my subscription.” one person said. “Like y’all already don’t have Beyoncé, what am I paying for?”
“All ima say is the women’s groups pressuring Spotify to remove music are focusing primarily on hip hop artists, which is very stereotypical,” another said. “Also keep f—ing up your playlists listen to mine.”
“Those ‘Women’s Rights’ groups asking Spotify to remove Nelly, Chris Brown, Eminem etc need to GTFO! what did EMINEM do?!?” someone else said. “Besides voice his disdain for Hailey’s mom 😩.”