Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

Jon Stewart weighs into Spotify controversy, says artists pulling music over Joe Rogan are making a 'mistake'

Jon Stewart weighs into Spotify controversy, says artists pulling music over Joe Rogan are making a 'mistake'

Musicians Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and more have requested the streaming platform remove their music

Jon Stewart believes the musicians boycotting Spotify over Joe Rogan are overreacting.

The former "Daily Show" host shared his hot take on musicians Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and more who have requested their music be removed from the streaming platform on a recent episode of his podcast "The Problem with Jon Stewart."

"First of all, I love Neil Young and I love Neil Young's music but the idea that it was worth $4 billion in value to Spotify caught me off guard," Stewart said. "When he pulled his music off of Spotify and Spotify went that I was like, hm, that didn't seem right."

Stewart said he doesn't think Joe Rogan is an "ideologue in any way."

A handful of musicians have requested their music be removed from Spotify because of their opposition to the coronavirus-related content published via Joe Rogan's podcast, which is exclusive to the streamer.

His advice to artists is: "Don't leave, don't abandon, don't censor, engage."

"We all exist in this world and on this planet. There's no question that there is egregious misinformation that's purposeful and hateful…and that being moderated is a credit to the platforms that run them," Stewart said. "But this overreaction to Rogan, I think, is a mistake."

He went on to call the musicians' reactions to Rogan's comments about the coronavirus "overblown."

"I think there are dishonest bad actors in the world and identifying those is so much more important to me," he added.

Spotify agreed to remove Neil Young's music from the platform.

David Crosby and Stephen Stills are the latest artists who have joined their Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmates and asked that the platform remove their music.

"We support Neil [Young] and we agree with him that there is dangerous disinformation being aired on Spotify's Joe Rogan podcast," Crosby, 80; Stills, 77; and Graham Nash, 80, said in a joint statement shared on Twitter on Wednesday.

Nash had already removed his music from Spotify.

Joni Mitchell attends The 2020 NAMM Show – 35th Annual NAMM TEC Awards on January 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. 

"While we always value alternative points of view, knowingly spreading disinformation during this global pandemic has deadly consequences," the rockers continued. "Until real action is taken to show that a concern for humanity must be balanced with commerce, we don't want our music – or the music we made together – to be on the same platform."

Young was the first artist to pull his content from the streamer over the information in Rogan's podcast.

Other artists to have pulled their music from Spotify in protest of Rogan's content include Joni Mitchell, India.Arie and Nils Lofgren.

Rogan broke his silence on the controversy on Sunday in a nearly 10-minute-long video. He spoke about the challenges of preparing for his shows that are unscripted and free-flowing. He defended his interviews with Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist, and Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist, that resulted in some criticism and apparently led to Young's decision to call on his songs being removed from the platform.

He challenged the word "misinformation" given that so much is still being learned about COVID-19. He said Spotify will begin to put a disclaimer at the beginning of these sorts of interviews, and he will also consider following them up with an expert with a different opinion.


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