An unexpected feud broke out between Taylor Swift and Damon Albarn on Monday, after British artist Swift (falsely) accused her of not writing her own music.
Not to be outdone, legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young has decided to launch a war against Joe Rogan.
In a letter now deleted to its manager and co-chairman and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. Records, Young threatened to pull off his extensive catalog of Spotify in protest against the spread of COVID-19 misinformation on the platform.
Young, a polio survivor, singled out the “Joe Rogan Experience,” an extremely popular podcast with a long history of smuggling false information about COVID-19. Rogan, a UFC commentator and former reality TV host, signed a $ 100 million deal with Spotify in 2020.
“I do this because Spotify spreads false information about vaccines – potentially causing death for those who believe the disinformation is being spread by them,” he said. Young wrote. “Please respond to this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.
“I want you to let Spotify know right away TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young continued. “They could have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Earlier this month, nearly 300 U.S. doctors, scientists, health professionals and professors wrote an open letter to Spotify expressing concern about medical misinformation about “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
“Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, which has provoked mistrust in science and medicine,” the letter reads. He discouraged vaccination in adolescents and children, wrongly claimed that mRNA vaccines were “gene therapy”, promoted the use of ivermectin outside the label to treat COVID-19 (contrary to FDA warnings), and made a number of spread unfounded conspiracy theories. ”
The letter specifically quotes a controversial episode of the December podcast featuring Robert Malone, a virologist and vaccine skeptic who was recently suspended from Twitter for spreading incorrect information.
During the episode, Malone referred to an unfounded theory suggesting that millions of people were “hypnotized” into believing in mainstream ideas about COVID-19, including steps to combat it such as testing and vaccination. According to a fact check by The Associated Press, psychologists say the concept described by Malone is not supported by evidence, and is similar to theories that have long been discredited.
Young’s wife, actor and activist Daryl Hannah, took to Twitter to write that “inherently harmful disinformation used as propaganda does not mean free speech.”
In April 2021, top White House officials reprimanded Rogan after advising his younger listeners not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last September, Rogan tested positive for COVID-19. In an Instagram post, he said he received ivermectin, a drug used primarily as a veterinary dewormer. The Food and Drug Administration has warned COVID-19 patients against using the drug, and it has been repeatedly shown to be ineffective for them in clinical trials.
Last August, Rogan falsely claims that mRNA vaccines are “gene therapy”.
In December, Neil Young released “Barn”, the 14th studio album with his band Crazy Horse.
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