James Blunt jokes he will release new music if Spotify doesn’t remove Joe Rogan’s podcast – after Joni Mitchell and Neil Young boycotted platform in protest at his vaccine-sceptic views
James Blunt has joked that he will release new music if Spotify doesn’t remove Joe Rogan’s podcast – which has been criticised for promoting vaccine-sceptic views.
It comes after on Friday Joni Mitchell joined Neil Young in removing her music from the platform in protest against their promotion of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
The singer, 78, said she was standing ‘in solidarity’ with Young who this week demanded Spotify take down his songs unless the episodes are taken down – which he said spread ‘false information’ regarding Covid vaccines.
Witty: James Blunt has joked that he will release new music if Spotify doesn’t remove Joe Rogan’s podcast – which has been criticised for promoting vaccine-sceptic views
The Big Yellow Taxi hitmaker said the streaming giant was allowing ‘irresponsible people’ to spread lies that were ‘costing people their lives’.
Jokingly commenting on the controversy, James Blunt’s tweet on Saturday read: ‘If @Spotify doesn’t immediately remove @JoeRogan, I will release new music onto the platform.’
The singer also added the hashtag #youwerebeautiful, a reference to his iconic 2005 song You’re Beautiful.
Oh dear: Earlier this month, hundreds of doctors and scientists signed an open letter to Spotify accusing Joe (pictured) of pushing ‘anti-vax misinformation’ on his podcast
On Friday Mitchell also shared an open letter signed by a coalition of medical professionals calling on Spotify to take action against ‘mass-misinformation events’ occurring on its platform.
‘I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,’ Mitchell said in a statement on her official website.
‘Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives.
Funny: Jokingly commenting on the controversy, James Blunt’s tweet on Saturday read: ‘If @Spotify doesn’t immediately remove @JoeRogan, I will release new music onto the platform’
‘I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.’
The open letter made reference to a specific episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, released on December 31 2021 in which ‘baseless conspiracy theories’ were promoted.
‘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.
Strong: It comes after on Friday Joni Mitchell (pictured) joined Neil Young in removing her music from the platform in protest against their promotion of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast
‘This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform.
‘We, the undersigned doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators thus call on Spotify to immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.’
It comes as Young praised Spotify’s rival Amazon Music and offered his fans four months free on the streaming platform.
The musician said Amazon was ‘leading the pack’ in high quality audio production and encouraged fans to use the service to access his entire catalogue.
Opinions: Young (pictured) continued his crusade on Friday, publishing an open letter on his personal website, which opened with the words: ‘When I left SPOTIFY, I felt better’
The streaming giant said it ‘regretted’ Young’s decision and hoped to welcome him back soon.
Young continued his crusade on Friday, publishing an open letter on his personal website, which opened with the words: ‘When I left SPOTIFY, I felt better.’
The outspoken recording artist alleged that Spotify degrades the quality of sound by 95 per cent so it could carry more content.
‘AMAZON, APPLE MUSIC and Qobuz deliver up to 100% of the music today and it sounds a lot better than the s****y degraded and neutered sound of SPOTIFY,’ Young fumed. ‘If you support SPOTIFY, you are destroying an art form.’
Turning his attention to his row with Rogan over the podcaster’s negative views on COVID vaccination, Young wrote: ‘I support free speech. I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information.
In response to Young’s ultimatum, Spotify has agreed to remove his songs from its platform, where the singer had 2.4 million followers and over six million monthly listeners.
‘We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators,’ the streaming company’s representative told Variety.
Views : Stand-up comedian Rogan, 54, has previously attracted controversy for suggesting the young and healthy should not get vaccinated
‘We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.’
It comes after Apple Music made a dig at Spotify by bragging that it was ‘the home of Neil Young‘.
A day after Spotify announced that it will comply with Young’s demand to remove his records from the sharing platform, Apple Music tweeted on Thursday night: ‘The home of Neil Young. Listen to his entire catalog on Apple Music.’
The tweet featured a link offering access to Young’s ‘artist’ page on Apple Music’s website and a slideshow showcasing the prolific musician’s many album covers.
On Apple Music’s app, the streaming service went out of its way to tout Young’s playlists and albums under the banner ‘We Love Neil.’
Spotify acquired The Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2020, reportedly for more than 100 million dollars (£77million).
Stand-up comedian Rogan, 54, has previously attracted controversy for suggesting the young and healthy should not get vaccinated.
Who is Joe Rogan and what are his controversial views?
Joe Rogan is a US comedian and UFC commentator who has gained a huge following with his Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, launched in 2009.
The podcast features interviews with high profile celebrities and episodes regularly receive millions of views and listeners, making it one of the most popular podcasts in the world.
Rogan often shares his own opinions on the show, but this has landed the host in controversy, as well as his choice of guests.
Earlier this month, hundreds of doctors and scientists signed an open letter to Spotify accusing him of pushing ‘anti-vax misinformation’ on his podcast – with one branding him a ‘menace to public health’.
A total of 270 experts and medical professionals called on the streaming giant to adopt a misinformation policy after the comedian hosted the controversial Dr Robert Malone last month.
During a three-hour and six-minute interview on the now-viral episode #1757 of The Joe Rogan Experience, Malone compared the US to Nazi Germany and said today’s society was suffering from a ‘mass formation psychosis’ over the use of vaccines.
He also claimed to be part of the team that invented the mRNA technology used in the Covid-19 jab and said pharmaceutical companies administering vaccines – such as Pfizer and Moderna – have ‘financial conflicts of interest’.
The letter claims Rogan has a penchant for ‘broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic’ and that the episode with Malone promoted ‘baseless conspiracy theories’, including ‘an unfounded theory that societal leaders have ‘hypnotized the public’.’
It is not the first time Rogan has courted controversy over comments made about Covid on his podcast.
Last April he seemed to discouraged young people from getting the vaccine, saying in a conversation with comedian Dave Smith: ‘If you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, “Should I get vaccinated?” I’ll go no.’
Rogan, who caught Covid himself, also promoted taking ivermectin, despite no evidence proving it works to treat the virus.
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