The reason why Netflix, Spotify haven’t taken down Ye content – The Hill
As more companies cut ties with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in light of his most recent antisemitic comments there are two institutions that have yet to succumb to the rising pressure drop the artist: Netflix and Spotify.
Netflix announced it will continue to stream “Jeen Yuhs” the documentary trilogy on Ye’s life stating that they are not in business with the artist and that he is merely the subject of the film.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told Reuters that Ye’s recent antisemitic comments were “just awful” and would have been grounds for removal from the platform if the artist would have said them on a podcast or recording.
Meanwhile, a top Spotify competitor, Apple Music, appears to have stopped offering of Ye’s music.
Ek then told the outlet that Spotify had no plans of removing any of Ye’s music. Spotify has yet to respond to questions from The Hill about the possibility of the platform changing its mind.
Both companies have a history of refusing to remove the work of artists that make questionable decisions.
For instance, last year comedian Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special “The Closer” came under fire for being transphobic. At one point during the 72-minute-long special, Chappelle references getting into an altercation with a lesbian and calls himself a TERF, a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, like Harry Potter author J.K Rowling who has tweeted comments in the past that show she supports people who do not consider trans people to be women.
The jokes were considered so offensive that GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, released a statement condemning the special and the National Black Justice Coalition urged Netflix to pull the controversial standup routine.
The comments lead to boycotts of the steaming platform and even employee walkouts from the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
But the streaming service never removed the special and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos even defended the artist’s freedom of expression.
“In his special, Chappelle makes harsh jokes about many different groups, which is his style and a reason his fans love his comedy and commentary” said Sarandos in a memo sent to Variety.
“Stand-up comedians often expose issues that are uncomfortable because the art by nature is a highly provocative. As a leadership team, we do not believe that The Closer is intended to incite hatred or violence against anyone (per our Sensitive Content guidelines).”
Earlier this year Spotify did not pull episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, after multiple celebrities like musician Neil Young and actor Samuel L. Jackson complained about Rogan’s use of the N-word and his spreading of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more,” Ek wrote in a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.”
Eventually, by early February 70 episodes of the podcast were removed from Spotify. But it was Rogan who decided to take down the episodes after a conversation with the company about “some of the content” in the show including his use of derogatory terms for Black people, according to The Washington Post.
But in 2018, Spotify removed R&B singer R. Kelly’s songs from their playlists and algorithmic recommendations amid sexual assault allegations but returned the music to the service later, even after he was found guilty of all counts of sexual trafficking and racketeering.
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