YouTube removes R. Kelly's official channels

A federal jury convicted the singer in September on sex trafficking charges.

Sponsored Links

Kris Holt
October 6th, 2021
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 09: Demonstrators gather near the studio of singer R. Kelly to call for a boycott of his music after allegations of sexual abuse against young girls were raised on the highly-rated Lifetime mini-series 'Surviving R. Kelly' on January 09, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Prosecutors in Illinois and Georgia have opened investigations into allegations made against the singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly.   (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson via Getty Images

YouTube has taken down R. Kelly's official channels after the singer was convicted of sex trafficking last month. The RKellyTV and RKellyVevo channels no longer exist and Kelly will not be allowed to create or own any other channel on the platform, as Reuters first reported. 

"We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines," YouTube told Engadget in a statement. If the owner of a channel is convicted of or pleads guilty to a serious crime, YouTube might delete the channel if it's closely related to the crime in question. In this case, according to YouTube, prosecutors claimed that Kelly used the fame and power he accrued in the music industry to exploit women and underage girls.

However, this isn't a blanket ban. Kelly's music will still be available on YouTube Music. Kelly videos that other users have uploaded to YouTube before now will remain, as they aren't considered reuploads. The responsibility guidelines are only enforced on channels that are connected to the creator.

Two women started a campaign in 2017 to have Kelly's music removed from streaming services and radio. Accusations about have been made against Kelly for decades. He was arrested in 2002 for depicting making videos containing sexual abuse of a child, but the jury in that case found him not guilty after it wasn't proven the girl on the tapes was a minor.

Kelly's sentencing hearing will take place in May. The mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years in prison, though he faces up to life behind bars.

Victims of sexual assault and abuse can contact RAINN's National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. For information on reporting child sexual exploitation, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or visit missingkids.org.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget