R. Kelly’s YouTube Channels Removed Following Sex Trafficking Conviction
Disgraced R&B singer, R. Kelly‘s YouTube channels have been removed from the internet video platform following his sex trafficking conviction.
On Tuesday, YouTube removed the two channels — RKellyTV (which had 3.5 million subscribers) and RKellyVevo (which had about 1.6 million subscribers) — citing a violation of its terms of service.
Attempts to watch videos on the now-removed channels displays a message that says, “This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.”
“Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm,” YouTube VP of legal Nicole Alston wrote in a memo, as reported by Bloomberg. “Ultimately we are taking this action to protect our users similar to other platforms.”
Kelly’s official accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook also have recently been disabled.
YouTube’s move to delete Kelly’s channels comes eight days after a federal jury found him guilty of racketeering and eight charges of an anti-sex trafficking law. Kelly is set to be sentenced May 4, 2022. The 54-year-old faces 10 years to life in prison.
YouTube said it pulled down the channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with its “creator responsibility guidelines” That policy prohibits “on- and/or off-platform behavior that we may consider to be inappropriate,” including “intending to cause malicious harm to others” and “participating in abuse or violence, demonstrating cruelty, or participating in fraudulent/deceptive behavior leading to real-world harm.”
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 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.