Music officials at Pandora have followed rival streaming service Spotify’s lead by ending the promotion of R. Kelly’s songs on their platform.
Spotify bosses announced their bold move on Thursday, revealing they were implementing a new hateful conduct provision policy, which would prevent artists who have been accused of questionable or criminal behavior from having their songs included on their popular curated playlists
R. Kelly found himself among those excluded, as he continues to fight sexual violence allegations and claims suggesting he is running a “sex cult,” and now executives at online radio service Pandora have revealed they have taken a similar approach.
“Pandora’s policy is to not actively promote artists with certain demonstrable behavioral, ethical or criminal issues,” they explain in a statement issued to TheBlast.com.
“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.”
Fans of the “I Believe I Can Fly” hitmaker will still be able to enjoy his music on Pandora by searching for his discography or creating their own R. Kelly stations, but the tunes will not be actively marketed on their service to users.
R. Kelly’s representatives have yet to comment on the Pandora news, but after learning of the Spotify playlist removal, they took aim at site officials, insisting they were making the wrong decision.
In a statement, they wrote: “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.”
The renewed uproar over Kelly’s private life recently sparked a new campaign by anti-sexual misconduct activists at Time’s Up, who took to social media to urge music industry leaders to cut ties with the veteran singer over the claims.
Supporters of the “#MuteRKelly” effort included director Ava DuVernay and Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes.