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  • Nic F. Anderson

Artists Pulling Work From Spotify Amid Joe Rogan Controversy

Following the Joe Rogan controversy on Spotify, many artists are pulling their work from the streaming platform in an effort to condemn misinformation, racism, misogyny, and other problematic rhetoric.

Iconic and renowned author, editor, professor and social commentator, Roxane Gay, is one of them.

“It won’t move any sort of needle but I removed my podcast from Spotify,” the Bad Feminist author wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “That’s all there really is to say about that. Onward.”

But she isn’t the only one fighting back.

Joe Rogan was given a $100 million distribution deal with Spotify – he’s been spreading incorrect information about COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. In addition to this, Rogan hosts guests who hold bigoted views on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender orientation and the pandemic.

For example, Rogan has encouraged people to use ivermectin, a horse dewormer, to treat COVID-19, even though the Food and Drug Administration has issued repeated warnings that this is not something people should do.

Side effects of ivermectin and humans include confusion, ataxia (loss of control over body movement), low blood pressure, physical weakness, gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, vision issues, rashes and seizures. People have been hospitalized for attempting to use the horse dewormer to treat COVID-19.

An example of Rogan’s transphobia includes saying transgender people who are on testosterone will cause societal collapse – despite him being on testosterone.

Musician Neil Young was the first mainstream artist to pull his music from the platform, with Warner Brother Reprise standing with him in his decision.

“Spotify has recently become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID… I realized I could not continue to support Spotify’s life threatening misinformation to the music love public…” Young wrote on his website. “Spotify represents 60% of the streaming of my music to listeners around the world, almost every record I have ever released is available – my life’s music – a huge loss for my record company to absorb.”

Joni Mitchell also removed her music from the website. “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue,” she wrote.

India Arie pulled her music from Spotify, too.

“I have decided to pull my music and podcast from Spotify. Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through. I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews… For me it’s also his language around race.” Arie wrote on instagram.

Rogan said that it’s “weird” to call someone “Black” unless they were “one hundred percent African, from the darkest place, where they’re not wearing any clothes all day.”

Editor’s note: Africa is not a country – it is a continent with 54 countries. People who live in hot climates and sunny places actually have specific clothes they wear to combat the heat and the sun’s rays.

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