Rock icon Neil Young is urging Spotify to spread disinformation-filled podcast by conspiracy theorist Joe Rogan.
“I want you to tell Spotify immediately today that I want all of my music to be taken off their platform,” Young wrote to his managers in a letter originally posted on his website on Monday. “They might have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
The deleted email stated that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is actively removing the availability of all his music on Spotify because the company is “spreading false information about vaccines, which could lead to the death of those who believe in the misinformation they spread.”
Young’s music remained on Spotify as of early Tuesday.
Neil Young’s Spotify page says he has over 6 million monthly listeners and his top three songs combined have received over half a billion streams on the service.
Rogan claims to have 200 million listeners, a massive audience that led to a $100 million payout from Spotify when the company signed him to an exclusive multi-year deal in 2020. Since then, he has used the platform to falsely suggest that young, healthy people shouldn’t be vaccinated, and has since called himself a “fucking jerk” and “not a respected source of information.”
However, Rogan has also redoubled his efforts by spreading disinformation and inviting guests who do the same.
Earlier this month, 270 scientists, doctors, medical professionals and professors signed an open letter calling Rogan a “public health threat” and urging Spotify to institute a disinformation policy.
Young went in the opposite direction to Rogan. While many performers returned to tour, he did not. Young even canceled a scheduled performance at Farm Aid, which he co-founded, due to COVID-19 concerns last year.
“I don’t want to let anyone down, but I still can’t shake the feeling that this might not be safe for everyone,” Young wrote on his website at the time, adding:
“All of you people who can’t go to the concert because you still don’t feel safe, I support you. I don’t want you to see me play and think it’s safe now. I don’t want to play until you feel safe and it’s really safe. My soul tells me that it would be wrong to risk someone dying because they wanted to listen to music and be with friends.”
Last month, Young said he wouldn’t be touring anytime soon for the same reason.
“I don’t care that I’m the only one who doesn’t,” he told Howard Stern.
Young’s newest album “Barn” debuted last month on most streaming services, but if his letter is any indication, it may not appear on Spotify for much longer. He also released a YouTube documentary about the album: