COVID-19 vaccines

Neil Young Wants His Music Off Spotify Over Joe Rogan's Vaccine ‘Misinformation'

"They can have Rogan or Young. Not both," Young wrote in a since-deleted open letter to his manager and record label that was posted to his website on Monday

Neil Young
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Neil Young reportedly demanded that his music be removed from Spotify due to vaccine disinformation shared by podcaster Joe Rogan on the streaming platform.

"They can have Rogan or Young. Not both," Young wrote in a since-deleted open letter to his manager and record label that was posted to his website on Monday.

NBC has not seen the original post and it is unclear why it was removed from Young's website. A link to the post labeled "A-Message-To-Spotify," currently directs users to a blank page.

A representative for Young did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment. But his manager Frank Gironda confirmed its authenticity to The Daily Beast, saying in a statement that the issue is something "that's really important to Neil. He's very upset about this disinformation."

Rogan has been criticized throughout the pandemic for airing fringe medical stances on the coronavirus, questioning vaccine safety and promoting debunked treatments on his popular podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience." Rogan signed a $100 million deal in 2020 giving Spotify exclusive right to the show.

In his letter, Young said Spotify has a "responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform." The singer asked his manager and record label "to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform."

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them," he wrote, according to Rolling Stone. "Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule."

As of Tuesday morning, Young's music was still accessible on Spotify. Both Spotify and Joe Rogan did not immediately respond to NBC News' requests for comment.

Young isn't the only one taking Spotify to task over the content on Rogan's show. Last month, 270 doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter requesting that Spotify implement a policy for dealing with misinformation, specifically citing Rogan's "concerning history" of spreading misleading and false claims about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” the letter said.

The letter cited an episode in which Rogan interviewed Dr. Robert Malone, a virologist who claims to have worked on early research into the mRNA technology behind several COVID-19 vaccines, but is now critical of the treatments. Malone said Americans had been "hypnotized" into wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

Rogan aired a disclaimer before the episode played, saying that he isn’t “an anti-vax person” and that he should not be the source of medical advice, as he isn’t a doctor.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines were developed using mRNA—short for messenger RNA— technology. Here is how they work.
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