Stewart Lee also leaves Spotify in Joe Rogan boycott

"For too long internet platforms have been able to spread lies with impunity"

Stewart Lee is the latest artist to remove his work from Spotify in protest of COVID misinformation being spread on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Earlier this month, hundreds of scientists and medical professionals asked Spotify to address COVID misinformation on its platform, sparked by comments made on The Joe Rogan Experience.

More than 270 members of the science and medical community signed the open letter, which called Rogan’s actions “not only objectionable and offensive but also medically and culturally dangerous”.

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Spotify previously hosted Lee’s stand-up albums ’41s Best Stand Up Ever’, ‘If You Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One’ and ‘Carpet Remnant World’.

Announcing his decision to boycott the platform, he said in a statement obtained by Chortle: “I am fully aware this will make no financial difference to Spotify whatsoever, but for too long internet platforms have been able to spread lies with impunity, free from the checks and balances that govern traditional publishers and broadcasters, and their efforts to correct this still do not go for enough.

“Perhaps artists big and small can band together to do something to change this where the money men won’t.”

Rogan publicly addressed the backlash himself recently, in a new video where he discusses “some of the controversy that’s been going on over the past few days.”

He told fans on Instagram: “I don’t always get it right. I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view.

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Admitting that it is a “strange responsibility to have this many views and listeners,” he promised “to do my best in the future to balance things out.”

Neil Young and Joni Mitchell were the first artists to announce they were pulling their music from the platform in protest. Regarding their departures, Rogan added: “I’m very sorry that they feel that way. I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan, I’ve always have been a Neil Young fan.”

Addressing Spotify directly, Rogan concluded: “I’m not trying to be controversial. I’m going to do my best in the future to balance things out…If I pissed you off, I’m sorry.”

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