Spotify is working to remove Neil Young’s music from the streaming platform following a standoff over star podcaster Joe Rogan‘s coronavirus comments, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Young posted an open letter to his management and record label on his website earlier this week, calling out Spotify over what he viewed was dangerous coronavirus vaccine misinformation by Rogan.
“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,” Young’s letter reportedly said, according to Rolling Stone. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
The letter has since been deleted, but the Wall Street Journal said Young has been in discussions with Warner Records and Spotify. The request to remove the music was reportedly made Wednesday, and the Wall Street Journal said it will take several hours for it to take effect. Young’s music was still available on the service as of 4 p.m EST. His artist page said he had more than 6 million monthly listeners.
Spokespeople for Spotify and Warner Records, his label, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It’s the latest public pushback against Rogan, who hosts one of Spotify’s most popular podcasts, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Spotify acquired the exclusive streaming rights to the show in 2020 in a deal reportedly worth more than $100 million.
Rogan has repeatedly used its platform, with millions of listeners, to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccinations, once saying that young adults don’t need to get the jab. That sparked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, to call out Rogan.
Young also isn’t the first to call on the platform to update its policies around the podcaster.
Earlier this month, 270 doctors and health professionals wrote an open letter to the streaming giant asking it to take action against Rogan’s podcast, accusing the company of broadcasting misinformation.
“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 health professionals’ letter said.
Read the full report from the Wall Street Journal here.
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