Spotify has been a major vehicle in promoting Latin music to global and mainstream markets — which made their oops earlier this month that much more visible. The gaffe occurred via a Spotify ad on Instagram that read: “Justin Bieber, Now Latin King.”
The online community quickly jumped on it, with many demanding that Spotify pull the ad. And hours later on June 13th, the service did.
“We made a creative decision to feature Justin Bieber in our ad because we wanted to celebrate [Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s] ‘Despacito’ as a key cultural moment when music genres cross over,” said a Spotify statement published in the New York Daily News. “We realized that this could be seen as culturally insensitive so we have pulled those ads.”
dear @Spotify , take this down. this is disrespectful. I’m sure we all agree.
ALL LATINXS. pic.twitter.com/GZ56lzHncn
— paletero papi (@pablocurates) June 14, 2017
To be clear, for all the outrage, this isn’t Bieber’s fault. Despite criticism after he forgot the lyrics to the song at a club, the singer went to great lengths to properly sing “Despacito” in the remix.
“I feel the fact that he made an effort to even sing in Spanish is a sign of respect toward our culture and our language,” said Mauricio Rengifo, one of the producers of “Despacito.” “If he didn’t care, he wouldn’t have even recorded in Spanish.”
However, adds co-producer Andres Torres, “All that criticism is important because it moves passions worldwide. It’s cool to see what a big impact that song has had.”
The “Despacito” remix featuring Bieber is currently at No. 1 on Spotify’s Global Top 50 playlist. The original version is at No. 14. Meanwhile, the song continues its now six-week reign at No. 1 on the Hot 100, with both versions counting towards its placement.