Spotify Apologized After Calling Justin Bieber A "Latin King"

Photo: Kevin Mazur/One Love Manchester/Getty Images.
Love it or hate it, "Despacito" is set to be the song of the summer. While it's already had its fair share of controversies, the Justin Bieber remix recently came under fire after Spotify promoted the song on Instagram and declared the Canadian singer a "Latin King." Teen Vogue reports that the ad didn't sit well with actual Latinx people and they called for its removal. It looks like fans' pleas were answered, because Spotify released a statement saying that the ad would be removed from all platforms and never used again.
"We made a creative decision to feature Justin Bieber in our ad because we wanted to celebrate 'Despacito' as a key cultural moment when music genres crossover," reads a statement to the New York Daily News. "We realized that this could be seen as culturally insensitive so we have pulled those ads."
Twitter users called out the ad as disrespectful to actual Latinx artists, including Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, who are both on the track alongside Bieber and are actually Latinx (Fonsi and Yankee, née Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, are both Puerto Rican). The ad didn't mention either one, even though the song features Bieber. One user pointed to the fact that the ad "[ignores] every single Latinx artists" by shining the spotlight on Bieber and anointing him the king of a genre he's only dabbled in. Other users simply pointed out the fact that the ad was disrespectful.
Bieber's come under fire before for the track. During a concert, he forgot the words to the song and ad-libbed "blah blah blah" and "burrito" in lieu of his verse. At another concert, he admitted that he didn't know the words. That was met with a water bottle to the face. In those instances, the blame can be put squarely on Bieber, but this time around, Spotify is in the hot seat. Taking the ad down is a step in the right direction, but the streaming service should look to actual Latinx artists if it's looking to crown some royalty.
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