Legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young penned an open letter on Monday, requesting that his music be removed from Spotify as long as host Joe Rogan has his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, on the streaming service.
Young, 76, posted the letter (since deleted) to his personal site — addressed to Warner Bros. corporate leadership and his management team at LookoutManagement — saying that he doesn’t want to feature his music on the platform alongside Rogan’s podcast, which, according to the musician, spreads “disinformation” about COVID-19 and vaccines.
“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, according to multiple entertainment news outlets. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all of my music off their platform,” it continued. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Rogan, 54, signed a $100-million deal with Spotify in mid-2020, and his podcast is currently the most-listened-to on the platform. (Spotify has exclusive distribution rights, but does not own his podcast outright.)
Young is not the first to call out Spotify for allegedly spreading misinformation through Rogan’s podcast; a group of 270 scientists and medical professionals previously shared an open letter with the platform on New Year’s Eve.
The letter specifically calls out an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience featuring guest Dr. Robert Malone, but zeroes in on the podcast as a whole as potentially damaging and misleading, especially for younger listeners.
In the episode, Dr. Malone said Americans have been “hypnotized” into getting the vaccine and wearing masks.
“The episode has been criticized for promoting baseless conspiracy theories and the JRE has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the letter.
“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.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine,” it continues. “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 number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.”
The former Fear Factor host has not publicly commented on Young’s letter.
In the face of much dissent, Rogan has defended himself numerous times over the past few years. He denies being “an anti-vax person” and has indicated that his podcasts should not be a source of medical advice.
Global News has reached out to both Rogan’s and Young’s representatives for comment.
As of this writing, there is no indication that Young’s music will be removed from Spotify, and it is still accessible on the service.