Neil Young Gives Spotify an Ultimatum: It’s Me or Joe Rogan

Neil Young, the hugely successful Canadian singer, has asked Spotify to remove his songs due to vaccine misinformation spread by podcaster Joe Rogan on the platform, saying: “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

In an open letter that has been taken down from his website, Neil Young Archives, he wrote: “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.”

“Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule,” he added.

The rock star specified that his decision was motivated by Rogan’s remarks on his show, The Joe Rogan Experience, the rights to which Spotify bought for $100 million in 2020.

Rogan has been under fire for his skeptical comments about vaccines and debunked claims about anti-parasite drug ivermectin’s effects against Covid-19. The Joe Rogan Experience is currently the streaming service’s most popular podcast.

In the letter addressed to his manager Frank Gironda and the co-chairman and chief operating officer of Warner Records, the company that releases his music, Young highlighted the “tremendous” influence of Rogan’s podcast, which has around 11 million listeners per episode.

“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, although the company presently has no misinformation policy. I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he added.

Young is not the first to express concern about The Joe Rogan podcast’s content.

Over 270 doctors, scientists, and health professionals signed an open letter last month, calling on Spotify to implement a policy to deal with misinformation. The letter, which mentioned Rogan’s “concerning history” when discussing Covid-19, referred to an episode in which Rogan interviewed Dr. Robert Malone.

Dr. Malone, a virologist who worked on early research on mRNA technology vaccines, criticized Covid-19 treatments, stating that getting vaccinated put those who had already contracted the virus at greater risk. He also claimed that world leaders had hypnotized people to support jabs.

Both he and Rogan were criticized for promoting conspiracy theories.