Neil Young urges Spotify employees and musicians to quit over his boycott of Joe Rogan

Neil Young has urged Spotify musicians and employees to “take the right path” and leave the audio company.

On Monday (February 7), Young posted an open letter on his website criticizing Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek’s handling of the backlash of Covid misinformation and racism on the popular Joe Rogan podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.

“To Spotify workers, I say Daniel Ek is your big deal – not Joe Rogan,” the 76-year-old musician wrote, adding, “Ek pulls the strings.”

He continued, “Get out of the place before it eats your soul. Ek’s only stated goals are about numbers – not art, not creativity. Note that Ek never mentions the medical professionals who started this conversation. Look, one last time – at the statements Ek made.

Young also pointed to the climate crisis and urged people to “abandon companies that are contributing to the massive destruction of Earth’s fossil fuels.”

He named Chase, Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo banks and urged people to “withdraw your money from the accounts of these US banks today.”

On December 31, 2021, more than 250 doctors and scientists had, in an open letter to Spotify, pointed out that Rogan’s podcast “has a concern the story to disseminate disinformation, in particular concerning the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Consequently, Young issued an ultimatum to Spotify asking the Swedish company to remove all of its music from its lucrative $100m (£73.8m) exclusive contract for Rogan content.

Young’s stance against Spotify has sparked outcry among musicians, with others like Joni Mitchell, Crazy Horse guitarist Nils Lofgren and rock supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash also demanding the company withdraw his music catalogs “in solidarity” with Young.

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Refusing to cut ties with Rogan, Spotify has acceded to musicians’ demands to remove their music from its app, prompting further criticism from fans.

In his post Monday on his website called NYA Times-Contrarian, Young urged other musicians to join him in boycotting Spotify, writing, “You must be able to find a better place than Spotify to be the home of your art. .”

Last week, Ek addressed the Covid misinformation controversy in a blog post without naming Rogan, sharing the company’s internal content management policy and announcing his decision to add Covid advice labels to content. relevant.

The backlash against Spotify intensified when musician India Arie announced she was leaving Spotify over Rogan’s “race language” on February 1.

At the time, she didn’t specifically mention what she was referring to, but later clarified her position with an edited montage of clips showing Rogan using the N-word at least 22 times.

The podcaster has since posted a video to Instagram offering his “deepest apologies” for using the slur and also attempted to explain his reasoning for doing so.

Meanwhile, Spotify has quietly removed more than 110 episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast following celebrity criticism.

Ek also addressed Rogan’s use of the racial slur in a late-night memo to Spotify employees, in which he condemned Rogan’s comments, but added that “silence Joe is not the answer. “.

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