Major Advertisers Refuse to Support Leah Remini’s Hate. Why Won’t Spotify?

Chubo My Masterpiece/

After learning they were sponsoring bigotry, numerous Fortune 100 companies have pulled their ads from anti-Scientologist Leah Remini’s hate podcast, apologizing to STAND:

  • “The ad had been placed inadvertently by one of our marketing agencies. They have corrected the mistake.”
  • “We don’t condone, let alone sponsor hate in any form. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.”
  • “[We have] no intention of targeting advertisements to anti-Scientology audiences.”
  • “We reminded our media agency to follow our guidelines which would avoid placement on controversial programming including this particular podcast.”
  • “If you see our sponsorship on this program again, please email me the specifics so we can address the error by our agency.”

Such withdrawals and denunciations were received immediately after prominent companies learned their promotion was appearing alongside content like this, syndicated by Spotify’s Megaphone brand:

Remini’s unhinged, inflammatory rhetoric, as disseminated widely by Spotify, includes describing the Scientology religion as “pure f—king evil” and referring to Scientologists as “robot[s],” “extremists,” “manipulators,” “p—ssies,” “horrible,” “hateful” and “a bunch of f—king like body snatchers” who are “selling your soul to the devil,” “not mentally sound,” “have zero compassion,” do “not enjoy their lives,” “can’t afford to feed their families,” “can’t think for themselves,” “don’t give a sh—t,” are “morally depleted” and have “done nothing good.”

“We don’t condone, let alone sponsor hate in any form.”

It was no surprise, therefore, that within one week of Holocaust Remembrance Day, a hate tweet by Leah Remini inspired one of her followers to respond: “In the 1940’s there was a certain European politician who had big ideas. He had the right ideas, but went after the wrong groups. Scientology is a plague and it needs to be exterminated.”

Tweet praising Hitler

Remini’s hate rhetoric and tactics fulfill each item listed in the “Acts of Bias” band of the Anti-Defamation League’s Pyramid of Hate, including bullying, ridicule, name-calling, slurs and epithets, dehumanization and biased and belittling jokes, all in violation of Spotify’s own published guidelines—guidelines they do not enforce. 

Spotify’s inclusion and belonging page reads: “Our platform is for everyone.” 

Spotify does not explicitly state what its executives appear to mean: that everyone—including anti-Scientologists, antisemites, Islamophobes, racists and haters—are welcome on Spotify.