Neil Young wants Spotify to take down his music because the platform also carries “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, which the music icon says spreads “fake information about vaccines.”
In a letter provided to “Rolling Stone” Monday, Young demanded his manager (Frank Gironda) and the chief operating officer of his record label, Warner Bros. (Tom Corson) immediately pull his music off the music streaming service.
“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,” he wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
Young added, “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
“The Joe Rogan Experience,” a podcast hosted by the far-right comedian and UFC color commentator, has leaned into the more controversial slants of current events and politics. The podcasting juggernaut made the move away from Apple on Sept. 1, 2020 in a deal with an estimated worth of $100 million. It became exclusive with Spotify at the end of 2020.
This is not the first time Rogan’s podcast has been called out for vaccine disinformation. Earlier this month, a group of more than 260 scientists, medical professionals, professors and science communicators urged Spotify to take action against “mass-information events” on its platform, singling out Rogan in particular.
The group of scientists pointed out how Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, ranging from discouraging vaccination in young people to promoting the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19.
“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,” the letter read. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
Rogan also maintains an active presence on Twitter, where he contributes to the discourse about vaccines as well as vaccine mandates. Dr. Anthony Fauci has previously corrected Rogan’s comments about getting vaccinated as well.
And it’s also not the first time Young has stripped the streamer of his music. In 2019, he told Rolling Stone that he had removed most of his music from Spotify several years earlier because he felt the sound quality wasn’t good, but he later relented.
Spotify hasn’t responded to Young’s letter. Rogan has not yet commented either.