Is Justin Bieber a Latin king? Well, according to a recent Spotify ad he is. The promotional attempt has just been pulled by the music streaming service, following claims from Latinos that it is offensive and factually inaccurate.
The decision to run the advertisement was prompted by Bieber’s guest spot appearance on the recent remix of “Despacito” – the Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit song. The pop star sings in Spanish throughout the track, however, dubbing him a ‘Latin King’ is a bit of a stretch.
The ad started showing up last week on Instagram, with a picture of the performer under the caption: “Justin. Now Latin King.” Many took to Twitter to voice their grievances about the ad, citing its cultural appropriation as a poor PR move. Others suggested that the streaming service should be promoting actual Latin musicians instead.
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
Speaking about the controversial move and the decision to cut it, a spokesperson for Spotify told the Daily News: “We made a creative decision to feature Justin Bieber in our ad because we wanted to celebrate ‘Despacito’ as key cultural moment when music genres crossover. We realized that this could be seen as culturally insensitive so we have pulled those ads.”
It’s not the first time that Bieber’s sparked controversy with the song, as he also angered many during a live performance of it. After forgetting the words to the track’s Spanish verse, Bieber casually made up his own words, singing: “blah blah blah blah,” as well as “Dorito” and “Burrito” in place of the forgotten lyrics. He also had a bottle thrown at him recently for refusing to perform the song live.
Meanwhile, “Despacito” has sent that the charts ablaze since its remix release in April. It hit the number one spot on the Billboard 100, making it the first Spanish-language track to achieve such a feat since the 1996 smash hit “Macarena” by Los Del Rio.