November 28, 2020

Spotify Ad Calling Justin Bieber A ‘Latin King’ Infuriates Latinxs

Spotify has officially pulled an ad naming Justin Bieber a “Latin King,” after uproar from Latinos around the web.

The advertisement seemed to connect Bieber with the mainstream success of Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” (featuring Daddy Yankee) in the United States. The Canadian star remixed the already global hit in April and that version became the first No. 1 Spanish-language single in the country since the “Macarena” in 1996.

The ad garnered attention after one Twitter user posted a screenshot and a short message directed at Spotify on June 14. The message in the tweet included a few words asking the streaming company to take down the ad on behalf of the Latinx community.

dear @Spotify , take this down. this is disrespectful. I’m sure we all agree.


— paletero papi (@pablocurates) June 14, 2017

Latinos have pointed out that the Spotify ad whitewashed the work of the Latino artists who were truly behind the mega hit. Twitter users responded to the ad by threatening to stop using Spotify and calling it “disgusting.”

I hate that people think that Justin Bieber was that made the song when it was luis fonsi y daddy yankee sabe no tienen respeto

— Valeria Gonz Laró (@valerialaro) June 19, 2017

@Spotify I’ve been a paying customer for several years but looks like I need to cancel my account if we don’t get an apology

— Latinx Geeks (@LatinxGeeks) June 21, 2017

This ad is so disgusting.

— El Profe (@e_odlt) June 14, 2017

As a belieber, Spotify wtf take this shit down.

— Jess A. (@ferinamami) June 21, 2017

I’m embarrassed for @Spotify

[email protected] mami (@cartoonaesthete) June 21, 2017

Some even pointed to Bieber’s butchering of the “Despacito” lyrics during a live performance in May. The incident angered many Latino fans, who accused the singer of “mocking the Spanish language.

This is a insulting especially after mocking our beautiful Spanish language.

— Andrew Rosado (@Andrewification) June 17, 2017


— Doña Vergas (@annaidleon__) June 21, 2017

Excuse me? He refuses to even learn and perform the song correctly. What is wrong with you, @Spotify ?

— Princess Consuela (@Jessicainga) June 21, 2017

Jeronimo Saldaña, from the Latinx political organization Mijente, even started a petition against the ad.

The company responded to the furor in a statement Thursday.

“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,” a Spotify spokesperson told HuffPost via e-mail. “We realized that this could be seen as culturally insensitive so we have pulled those ads.”

When HuffPost asked if Spotify planned to issue an apology to the community, the company responded saying there were no current plans to issue anything further.

H/T We are mitú

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