Music streaming service Spotify on Tuesday criticized recent antisemitic statements by rapper Kanye West, but said it would not remove his music unless his label requested it.
Music from the artist now known as Ye did not violate anti-hate policies, Spotify chief Daniel Ek told the Reuters news agency.
Recent antisemitic remarks made by the rapper are “just awful comments,” and would have warranted removal from Spotify for violating its policies, which prohibit hate speech, if they had been on a podcast or recording, Ek explained, but noted that none of that content can be found on Spotify.
“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” said Ek, adding, “It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not.”
If Ye’s label asks for the rapper’s catalog to be removed, Ek told Reuters, “Obviously we’ll respect their wishes.”
Ek’s remarks come as corporations around the world have cut ties with West following his recent antisemitic comments.
West during a recent interview that the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain were signed because former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, wanted to "make money" from the deal.
He later threatened to go "death con 3 on the Jews" in an apparent antisemitic Twitter rant. Ye followed this up by claiming that he can't be antisemitic "because black people are actually Jew."
The comments were condemned by a host of public figures. Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the comments and said, “Antisemitism is the longest hatred in history. It goes back thousands of years. We’ve dealt with bigger problems than these stupidities.”
On Monday, the Creative Artists Agency cut ties with West, confirming it had dropped him as a client.
Adidas on Tuesday announced it has cut ties with Ye, saying it “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.”
“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” the company added.
The German athletic brand said the decision to terminate its partnership with Ye “immediately” came after a “thorough review.”