Spotify CEO Explains Why He Won’t Remove Kanye West’s Music Despite ‘Awful’ Anti-Semitic Remarks
Music streaming platform, Spotify, has come out against Kanye West’s recent anti-Semitic remarks. However, they still plan to continue providing his music to their users.
In a recent phone interview with Reuters, Ek said that although he doesn’t find Ye’s comments about the Jewish community to be tolerable; his songs themselves do not violate Spotify’s hate policy. “It’s really just his music, and his music does not violate our policy,” Ek said. “It’s up to the artist or the record label if they want to take action or not.”
If Ye himself personally did not make anti-Semitic comments on his Facebook posts, or he made similar remarks on a podcast, then he would not have violated the Spotify hate speech policy.
Though Def Jam, the label behind the distribution of all of Ye’s albums besides Donda 2, has not requested this, Ek did say that streaming platforms “would respect their wishes” if they asked for it.
In the past, Spotify has faced criticism for deplatforming artists over their behavior. One notable example is when XXXTentacion, who allegedly beat his then-pregnant girlfriend, was removed from Spotify playlists. In 2018, R Kelly’s music was also removed because of his multiple sexual assault accusations. However, in 2019 Spotify reversed their policy and offered listeners the ability to block any artist they wish to avoid.
In a recent Financial Times editorial, WME Chief Ari Emanuel has called on Spotify and Apple Music to support Kanye West’s boycott of social media. In response, CAA has dropped him from their roster.
Forbes has reported that Ye is no longer a billionaire following his termination of the Adidas deal. Due to his anti-Semitic comments, he faced widespread criticism from celebrities and politicians alike. He was then suspended from Instagram and Twitter for threatening to go “DEATH CON 3” on Jewish people.