Joni Mitchell is pulling her music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young.
Young posted and then deleted a letter earlier this week to his record label and management team asking that his music be removed from the streaming platform to protest vaccine misinformation being spread on “The Joe Rogan Experience”, which streams exclusively on Spotify after a $100-million deal last year.
“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.”
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he continued. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Rogan has faced backlash for unfounded claims about the COVID-19 vaccines, with 270 medical professionals and science educators signing an open letter asking Spotify to stop letting Rogan spread the false information.
The letter read in part, “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
Young originally had most of his songs removed from Spotify in 2015, along with Apple Music, saying the sound quality was poor. He later changed his mind.
Spotify released a statement on Wednesday, saying that they try and balance “freedom” and “safety” and that they have removed 20,000 COVID-19 related podcast episodes since the start of the pandemic.
The full statement provided to Deadline reads, “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. 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.”
Mitchell then shared her own message on Friday via her website.
“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue,” she wrote.
Mitchell linked back to the open letter written by the medical professionals that Spotify has yet to acknowledge.