Rock legend Neil Young made headlines this week for deciding to leave Spotify in protest that Joe Rogan used the service to broadcast inaccurate Covid information to his millions of listeners.
So far, though, it seems the service’s other big names — Barack and Michelle Obama, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Dax Shepard and the host of call her daddy — have not done the same or cut ties with the company.
The controversy began Monday when Young published an open letter announcing his intentions to leave the service over treatment for the pandemic. The Joe Rogan Experience, services most popular podcast, that Spotify paid Rogan a estimated $100 million to secure as an exclusive.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines, which could kill those who believe the misinformation is being spread by them.” the musician wrote, later adding on its website that “SPOTIFY has become the home for life-threatening COVID misinformation. Lies are sold for money.
Public health experts have long warned that Joe Rogan’s podcast presents incorrect and potentially damaging information about the coronavirus.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, sparking distrust in science and medicine,” a group of hundreds of doctors said. wrote in an open letter to Spotify about the program earlier this month. “He has discouraged vaccination in young people and children, incorrectly claimed that mRNA vaccines are ‘gene therapy’, promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 (contrary to FDA warnings), and spread a series of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.”
A recent episode, aired on December 31, 2021, featured Dr. Robert Malone, a doctor who had been suspended from Twitter for violating their policies on Covid misinformation. On the show, Dr. Malone said that vaccine advocates had “hypnotized” the public and compared pandemic policies to the Holocaust.
As of December, Rogan said he was not vaccinated because “Has no sense” to receive the vaccine as he had a previous case of covid, which he treated in part with drugs such as ivermectin, which experts have warned is not appropriate for coronavirus cases. The host has stated that he is “not an anti-vaccine person” and said that he “encourages a lot of people to take them”, while maintaining that young and healthy people do not need the vaccine.
the independent has reached out to Joe Rogan for comment.
Spotify has increasingly moved to become a podcasting platform in recent years, signing lucrative exclusive offers with stars like Kim Kardashian West, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the Obamas, actor Dax Shepard Expert Armchair show, and the very popular call her daddy podcast on Barstool, now the number two show on Spotify behind Joe Rogan. when it is reached by the independent, none of these top names responded.
Prince Harry has previously criticized Rogan’s handling of the pandemic information. Last May, while speaking at the Expert Armchair podcast, the royal said that Rogan, a comedian and mixed martial arts enthusiast, should “steer clear” when it comes to medical advice.
“I think the problem is, in today’s world, with misinformation [being] just endemic, you have to be careful what comes out of your mouth,” Harry said. “News no longer exists only in the news. It’s splattered all over the place. So people listen to Joe Rogan and say, ‘Oh, if he says that… There’s a [sense] of, ‘Don’t listen to me’ – well, don’t say that. Just stay out of it. … If you have a platform, with a platform comes responsibility.”
Shepard added that Rogan was “ridiculous” and “stupid” on the Covid issues, but he was entitled to his opinion.
Given these earlier comments, an anonymous source in Sun He said of the Duke: “Refusing to cut ties with Spotify after they’ve put out anti-vaccine material is incredibly two-sided… If I were so principled and what I said meant I would cut ties, even if it’s at the personal”. financial cost.”
Other musicians have praised Young’s decision to stand his ground.
“If all artists were as punk rock as Neil Young, maybe we wouldn’t be absolutely screwed by corporate broadcast companies,” tweeted musician Margo Price.
British singer Kate Nash commented: “I really admire Neil Young for getting his music off Spotify.”
Both artists remain on Spotify.
Others have noted that few artists have the financial security in the streaming age to ditch Spotify.
“It’s great that Neil can get his music out of S*****y, but the fact is the vast majority of us can’t afford it because (very meager) royalties are one of the few ways to improvise. any semblance of life,” wrote Steve Sladowski, guitarist for the rock band Pup, on Twitter.
the independent has reached out to Spotify to comment on the details of their Covid content policies and whether Rogan will face any repercussions.
“We want all the music and audio content in the world to be available to Spotify users. With that comes a heavy responsibility to balance the safety of listeners and the freedom of creators,” the streaming service said in a statement earlier this week. “We have detailed content policies and have removed over 20,000 Covid-related podcast episodes since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but look forward to welcoming him back soon.”
The streaming music giant, which has an audience of roughly 299 million podcast listeners every month, has said that it prohibits “false or dangerous misleading content about COVID-19, which may cause offline harm and/or pose a direct threat to public health.”
However, it has also banked on its biggest podcast star, who frequently interviews controversial guests with fringe views on climate change and gender issues.
“We want creators to believe,” Daniel Ek, CEO and co-founder of Spotify, He said financial time in 2020 amid controversy that Rogan had interviewed infamous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. “It’s what they do best. We’re not looking to play a role in what they should say.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.