Neil Young Threatens Spotify Exit Over Joe Rogan Vaccine Claims
In an open letter posted Monday (Jan. 25) but since removed from his website, veteran singer-songwriter Neil Young gave an ultimatum to Spotify, stating that "they can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both." At the heart of Young's complaint is that he feels the popular comedian-turned-podcaster has been spreading questionable vaccine safety information through his show.
As Rolling Stone reported, Young posted his missive, titled "A-Message-To-Spotify," via his website, stating, “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”
Digging into the Joe Rogan Experience podcast as the source of his concern, Young added, “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
At press time, the post is no longer viewable via Young's website with a blank page coming up using the link and Young's music catalog remains accessible via the music streaming service.
Rogan has been in the headlines with some of his polarizing vaccination views and those expressed by his guests, so much so that last month a group of around 270 doctors, researchers and other health care professionals drafted and signed an open letter demanding that Spotify, who house Rogan's podcast, introduce a policy on misinformation. The letter cited Rogan for "repeatedly spread[ing] misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine."