The Morning After: Neil Young threatens to pull his music from Spotify over Joe Rogan's podcast

Rogan’s podcast is accused of spreading vaccine misinformation.

Carmen Mandato via Getty Images

Musician Neil Young has asked his management team and record label to remove his songs from Spotify. "I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe [it]," he said. "They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both." The content of the letter was confirmed by Young's manager, Frank Gironda, according to The Daily Beast. It’s probably not an empty threat; Young previously removed his music from Spotify due to low audio quality.

The Joe Rogan Experience picks up around 11 million listeners on average, and as you probably already know, some of his guests (and comments) have been controversial. Rogan hosted virologist Dr. Robert Malone, who made baseless claims about COVID-19, saying a "mass formation psychosis" led people to believe the vaccines were effective. This prompted a group of over 1,000 doctors, nurses, scientists and educators to send an open letter to Spotify demanding that it create a misinformation policy.

In an episode that followed, Rogan contended that a rare heart condition had been linked to vaccines when it was actually linked to those that had contracted COVID-19. (You can watch the awkwardness here.) Spotify CEO Daniel Ek previously said he doesn't believe the platform has editorial responsibility for podcasts. The company hasn’t yet responded to Young’s letter.

— Mat Smith


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