Neil Young urges Spotify employees to quit over Joe Rogan fallout
Rock star Neil Young has posted a message on his website encouraging Spotify employees to leave the company and criticizing its CEO over the ongoing controversy centered around coronavirus misinformation on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
“To the workers at SPOTIFY, I say Daniel Ek is your big problem — not Joe Rogan,” wrote Young, who has removed his music from the platform. “Ek pulls the strings. Get out of that place before it eats up your soul. The only goals stated by Ek are about numbers — not art, not creativity.”
“You must be able to find a better place than SPOTIFY to be the home of your art,” he added, encouraging musicians to join him in leaving the streaming service.
The Hill has reached out to Spotify for comment.
Last month, Young delivered an ultimatum to Spotify demanding that it take action against COVID-19 misinformation on Rogan’s podcast or remove his music from its service. Other artists, including Joni Mitchell, have since removed their music from the platform as well.
The podcast garnered even more criticism after India Arie, who pulled her music from Spotify due to Rogan’s content, shared a video over the weekend of the host repeatedly using racial slurs on his show and making a joke about the movie “Planet of the Apes” while he was in a Black neighborhood.
Rogan later apologized for his repeated past use of the slurs, saying he “certainly wasn’t trying to be racist.”
Spotify has announced it will include a content advisory for any “Joe Rogan Experience” episode that discusses COVID-19, and more 70 episodes have been removed entirely.
Ek said on Sunday that Rogan’s use of racial slurs was “incredibly hurtful” but that he does not “believe that silencing Joe is the answer.”
“We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope,” Ek said in an email to staff. “Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress.”