Neil Young and Joni Mitchell announced this past week that they were planning on removing their music from Spotify because of the spread of misinformation on the Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast the platform hosts.
“Please immediately inform Spotify that I am actively canceling all my music availability on Spotify as soon as possible,” Young wrote in an open letter. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.
He added: “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Now, a statement from a spokesperson in the Duke and Duchess’ camp, shared online by journalist Omid Scobie, who penned the pair’s much-contested biography, Finding Freedom, claims the couple reached out to Spotify last year to address “the real-time global misinformation crisis”.
“Since the inception of Archewell [the pair’s non-profit organization], we have worked to address the real-time global misinformation crisis. Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day,” the statement began
“Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform. We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis.
“We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”
In light of the ongoing controversy surrounding @Spotify’s continued support of Joe Rogan, whose podcast has spread proven misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccine efficacy, a spokesperson for Archewell (Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s foundation) says: pic.twitter.com/MZE7RqTNxY
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) January 30, 2022
In 2020 Meghan and Harry signed a multi-year partnership with Spotify, under their brand Archewell Audio, in which they agreed to host and produce podcasts.
The open letter was signed off on by 270 members of the science and medical community, who described Rogan’s actions as “not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous”.
“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” the letter stated.
Other high-profile names to hit out at Rogan for his anti-vax sentiments include Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, who labelled him a “fucking moron”, and Steve Albini, who described Rogan’s content as “trash garbage”.