Should Steven Tyler be banned from Spotify like R. Kelly?

Getty Images
Steven Tyler

If Spotify’s going to pull acts from its service as part of the company’s new Hate Content and Hateful Conduct policy, a women’s advocacy group has some suggestions, including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

Spotify has said the intention of the new policy is to limit content that “expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”

“It’s important to us that our values are reflected in all the work that we do, whether it’s distribution, promotion, or content creation,” Spotify said in announcing the new policy.


First to go were R. Kelly, who’s been the subject of numerous sexual misconduct claims, many involving minors, and XXXTentacion, who was charged with several felonies for allegedly beating up his then-pregnant ex-girlfriend in 2016.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

But there should be others, according to UltraViolet, a national women’s organization that focuses on reproductive rights, health care, economic security, violence, and racial justice. In a letter to Spotify boss Daniel Ek, UltraViolet executive director Shaunna Thomas said Spotify’s list of banned acts should also include Tyler, members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nelly, Eminem, the Eagles’ Don Henley, 6ix9ine, and Chris Brown.

“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,” Thomas wrote. “That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual artist.”

Thomas didn’t specify each artist’s alleged bad behavior, but in the case of Tyler, it may be related to the sexual relationship the singer had with a 16-year-old girl when he was in his mid 20s. The relationship is addressed in the Aerosmith book “Walk This Way,” and Tyler also wrote about it in his memoir, “Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?”

We reached out to Tyler’s rep for a reaction to the UltraViolet letter, but haven’t heard back.