How far is too far? Last week, Spotify recently removed both R&B singer R Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion from their playlists due to their history with sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, there’s no easy right answer to that question as neither artist has been formally charged with anything, despite the fact that evidence points to the contrary. We can compare this with Hollywood and the entire #metoo movement. For instance, if we remove all movies with Harvey Weinstein’s name attached, there would be well over 300 titles removed including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. As much as we want to discover the truth and have justice served to those who have condoned in malicious and harmful activities, there are also those who have been cleared of wrongdoing.
It’s not easy to digest the discovery about one of your favorite artists participating in such horrific involvements. Similar to the incident with Bill Cosby, many most likely feel as though their entire childhood was based on a lie due to looking up to the “friendly” dad on The Cosby Show. One could raise another question, would you rather be informed and told the truth or continue living a lie? Now, as difficult and controversial as this subject is, it’s scary to think that this could move towards the innocent. There are already groups out there such as the Antifa movement, religious activists or those proclaiming absurd assumptions, that could request an artist that has nothing to do with misconduct to request to be removed from streaming platforms.
However, Shaunna Thomas, the Executive Director of the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet has written a public letter to Spotify demanding the following artists who allegedly have a history with sexual misconduct to be removed:
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Don Henley of The Eagles
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
Thomas applauded Spotify for taking down the two artists who have a dark history with sexual abuse and/or misconduct but she also stated that they are not the only abusers on the platform.
“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. That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual artist.”
Read her full letter here.