YouTube Removes R. Kelly’s Official Channels Following Sex-Trafficking Conviction

YouTube has removed two of R. Kelly’s official channels on Oct. 5 in wake of the singer being found guilty of racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and sex trafficking on Sept. 28.

Kelly’s catalog of music will still be available on YouTube Music, but users who go to view RKellyTV or RKellyVevo will be greeted with an error message instead.

According to a YouTube spokesperson, the decision to remove R. Kelly’s channels was based on his violation of the platform’s creator responsibility guidelines, as he’s been found to abuse his power in the music industry to commit crimes.

The 54-year-old will not be allowed to create or own a new channel, but other creators may still upload content relating to Kelly or his music. It’s unclear whether or not other popular platforms will follow suit, but one group, Mute R. Kelly, believes it’s necessary.

On their website, the group states, “Let them know that by financially supporting the career of a known sexual predator, they help maintain and perpetuate a system of sexual abuse against young black women. It’s time to take a stand on the side of justice and end any and all associations that the radio station has with him, his music and his brand.” 

After the decision by YouTube was announced, Twitter users seemed to have mixed reactions, as one wrote, “The crime is already being paid for. This is not necessary,” while another said, “Delete all his sh!t.”