Graham Nash has joined former bandmate Neil Young in removing his music from Spotify, in protest at Covid misinformation spread by the streaming company’s star podcaster Joe Rogan.
The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young singer and guitarist, who also co-founded 1960s pop group the Hollies, said in a statement:
Having heard the Covid misinformation spread by Joe Rogan on Spotify, I fully agree with and support my friend Neil Young and request that my solo recordings be removed from the service. There is a difference between being open to different viewpoints on an issue and knowingly spreading false information that some 270 medical professionals have called not only false but dangerous… The opinions published by Rogan are so dishonest and unsupported by solid facts that Spotify is becoming an enabler in a way that is costing people their lives.
Young last week called for his music to be removed from Spotify, arguing that the platform had allowed Rogan – who was signed by Spotify in 2020 to do podcasts in a deal worth more than $100 million – to advance “false vaccine information – potentially causing death to those who believe the misinformation they spread”. He then added to his review, accusing Spotify of “selling lies for money”.
A Spotify spokesperson said: “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to see him again soon.”
In April 2021, Rogan said, “If you’re like 21, and you tell me, should I get vaccinated? I will go, no”, but when he was challenged, he said “I believe [vaccines] are safe and encourage many people to take them. In January, he claimed the risk of teenagers getting myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) from the vaccine outweighed the risk of getting Covid, a view disputed by a podcast guest and other researchers. . He wrongly argued that vaccines use ‘gene therapy’ and promoted the use of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin, which has not been proven effective against Covid-19.
He also hosted virologist Robert Malone, who promoted conspiracy theories including that the leaders hypnotized the public into taking the vaccine. Malone’s appearance was cited in an open letter from 270 US health leaders criticizing Rogan’s podcast.
Rogan apologized to Spotify following Young’s protest and said he bore no hard feelings against the singer. He said he would “try harder to get people with differing opinions on” and “do his best to make sure I researched those topics.”
Another successful musician, four-time Grammy-winning soul singer India.Arie, joined Young’s protest this week, writing on Instagram:
I have decided to remove my music and my podcast from Spotify. Neil Young has opened a door that I must go through. I believe in freedom of expression. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons other than his Covid interviews… For me, it’s also his language around race. What I’m talking about is respect – who gets it and who doesn’t. Paying musicians a fraction of a penny? And him 100 million dollars? This shows the type of business they are in and the business they keep. I am tired.
In a January conversation with writer and speaker Jordan Peterson, discussing the ethnicity of Black American academic Michael Eric Dyson, Rogan said, “Unless you’re talking to someone who’s like 100 % African from the darkest place where he wears no clothes. all day… the term Black is weird.
Rogan and Spotify did not respond to criticism from Nash and India.Arie.
Joni Mitchell and Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils Lofgren have also expressed their support for Young in recent days and announced that their music will be removed, although theirs, Nash’s and India.Arie’s will remain on Spotify for now. the moment.
Spotify responded to the furor by adding resources with correct Covid-19 information to podcasts on the subject. Its stock price, which had fallen slightly after Young’s decision, recovered this week.