After a long-awaited conviction on racketeering and sex trafficking charges, singer R. Kelly has had two of his official channels taken down from the popular platform. On Tuesday, October 5th, YouTube terminated RKellyTV and RKellyVevo, citing the platform’s creator responsibility guidelines which include the termination of accounts owned by someone convicted of “egregious crimes” as well as accounts that contain content related to those crimes. It is believed that lots of users have collided with this policy but got away with it simply because they were not celebrities.
5 MILLION FOLLOWERS WITHOUT A SHEPHARD
YouTube went one step further and prohibited the “Bump N’ Grind” hit maker from using, creating, or owning any future content on the platform. The now-disgraced R. Kelly, who once dominated the charts and was widely considered one of the best R&B artists of all time, had more than 5 million followers between his two channels.
YouTube further solidified their decision to delete the channels by explaining that R. Kelly’s conviction was tied to his power and influence as an artist and celebrity who exploited that power to abuse women and girls for many years. It is widely believed that R. Kelly had multiple secret sex cases that he managed to settle out of court. YouTube VP of legal Nicole Alston explained that “Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warranted penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm to users of the platform” . It is worth noting that other music platforms have taken the same direction.
ANTI R. KELLY ACTIVISM IS ALIVE
R. Kelly’s music will continue to live on YouTube, however, in the form of content uploaded by other users as well as through the streaming service, YouTube Music. A couple of other streaming services also continue to make Kelly’s music available, but calls from #MuteRKelly activists are trying to change that.
The campaign’s co-founder, Kenyette Tisha Barnes, tweeted YouTube Music as well as several other streaming services following news of the YouTube shutdown, saying, “Waiting on you”. This is a second time a hashtag campaign against R. Kelly is circulating on social media platforms.
While some platforms have taken action to limit or prohibit the streaming of Kelly’s music in the past, it was often met with major backlash from the industry and fans. Now that the singer has been definitively proven guilty of such terrible crimes, his fanatics may be more willing to finally walk away from their idol and his music for good.
Surviving R. Kelly is a Lifetime documentary detailing sexual abuse allegations against the singer whose career sadly seems to have come to a pre-mature end.