When Spotify introduced its new “hate content and hateful conduct” policy — which promises to suppress songs for violent or hateful lyrics or offstage behavior — I predicted that the streaming service would soon be caught between users wanting easy access to popular music and activists demanding that artists be scrubbed from the platform.
Sure enough, the feminist group Ultraviolet has now sent a letter to Spotify thanking it for the initial steps of removing R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from official playlists — and asking that the company go further.
“These two men are not the only abusers on your platform,” writes Ultraviolet’s Shaunna Thomas. “We implore you to take a deeper look at the artists you promote.” She goes on to call for the company to exile Eminem, Nelly, Don Henley of the Eagles, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Chris Brown, rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, Ted Nugent, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“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,” says Thomas. “That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual artist.” …
Thomas has a point when she argues that it’s inconsistent to refuse to promote R. Kelly’s music but not Brown’s or Kiedis’s. If the company is actually serious about this new policy, it’ll have to go a lot further than R. Kelly and XXXTentacion.
And I mean a lot further. Ultraviolet’s list just scratches the surface. Whether it’s Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his 13-year-old cousin or David Bowie taking the virginity of a 14-year-old, a lot of pop stars’ escapades don’t conform to modern norms of affirmative consent and gender equity. There’s no shortage of articles (start with this listicle from the Phoenix New Times) retelling tales of statutory rape and sexual assault by beloved rockers and rappers. …
And at least two out of four Beatles — John Lennon and Ringo Starr — were domestic abusers.
The leftist spiral of ever-increasing purity always accelerates until it blows up. Sometimes it takes out many of the original leftists even, like in the French Revolution.
Feminism is too influential in too many areas. As Glenn Reynolds once noted, in wishing to avoid unpleasantness we’ve given a small angry group of people with dubious mental health way too much control over the culture. Unsurprisingly, it’s working out badly.