YouTube has removed two channels of disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly, who was found guilty of some sex crimes last week.
Catalog of his music will however be available on YouTube Music, YouTube’s audio-streaming service, and the videos uploaded by other YouTube users will continue to be available. A YouTube spokesperson told Reuters in a statement;
“We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines."
YouTube VP of legal, Nicole Alston also wrote in a memo;
“Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm.
“Ultimately we are taking this action to protect our users similar to other platforms.”
On September 27, Kelly was found guilty in New York federal court of leading a scheme to recruit women and girls for sex, following decades of women coming forward to accuse him of sex crimes.
Kelly’s music has largely disappeared from radio but is still available on streaming platforms. His hit record “I Believe I Can Fly” was for years a popular choice at graduation ceremonies. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years behind bars, and could face up to life in prison at his May 4, 2022, sentencing.
Kelly’s longtime label, Sony Music’s RCA Records, parted ways with the singer in January 2019 after months of criticism. However, nearly his entire catalog remains with the label and is still available on major music-streaming services.
In a survey conducted by Morning Consult after Kelly’s conviction, 44% of audio-streaming service users said platforms like Spotify and Apple Music should remove his music from their catalogs, while 36% said his songs should stay up and 20% had no opinion or said they didn’t know.
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