Artists Remove Music from Spotify because of Vaccine Misinformation

By Frank Cannistra

Rock and roll legend Neil Young has recently taken offense to remarks made by podcaster Joe Rogan on his show, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Rogan has, on multiple occasions , spoken out against the COVID-19 vaccines, most recently recommending that young people don’t receive the shot at all. Rogan’s show also features a collection of guests that often come on the program and spread controversial beliefs and theories in regards to the vaccines. 

In a letter featured by Rolling Stone, Young stated that he was “doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines.” The musician made his ultimatum  clear. 

“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” said Young. 

Young also made it clear in his letter that he was not trying to censor Joe Rogan, he is just aiming  to lessen the spread of misinformation. 

“I support free speech. I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information,” said Young in his letter.

This is not the first time that Young has threatened to remove his work from Spotify. In 2015, the singer almost had his library erased due to “poor sound quality”, but eventually relented. 

Young isn’t the only one attempting to take action against vaccine misinformation spread by Rogan’s show. Musicians Joni Mitchell, India Arie and Graham Nash have joined Young in their actions to remove their music from the platform. 

The musicians are all fighting for more awareness or warnings on what type of content Rogan’s show features. Not only that, but they also want a slate of guests that better encompasses all viewpoints and facts about the vaccine. 

Arie specifically cited Rogan’s “language around race” as another contributing factor in her opting to remove her work from Spotify. 

According to Rogan’s podcast, he is not completely against the vaccine. Rogan has gone on record several times saying that he almost received the vaccine at one point. The podcaster’s main message about the vaccine is about the general public’s freedom to question its safety. 

“It’s a completely new kind of vaccine. The idea that people shouldn’t be skeptical or nervous about that is kind of hilarious,” said Rogan on the Aug. 6 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience

Rogan’s outlook and opinions are often in question. He received criticism recently when he contracted COVID-19 himself, and opted to treat the illness with Ivermectin, an antiparasitic medicine.

Some fans of Rogan don’t seem to mind the controversial nature of his show. 

“The wild theories and guests are the reason I watch the show,” said Zach Morgan, junior. “I don’t think the style of his show should change.”

Rogan has since issued an apology in regard to the vaccine misinformation claims. 

“My pledge to you is that I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives, so we can maybe find a better point of view,” said Rogan in his apology video.  

Rogan has not yet commented on the situation involving India Arie. 

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

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