There Are Now Multiple Reasons Why Artists Are Leaving Spotify Over Joe Rogan

Graham Nash and India Arie are the latest artists to leave the platform, with the latter citing Rogan's comments on race as her reason for leaving

Joe Rogan performs during his appearance at The Ice House Comedy Club on March 15, 2019 in Pasadena, California. After Neil Young and Joni Mitchell left Spotify over Rogan's podcast, other artists are leaving too, some for different reasons.
Joe Rogan performs at The Ice House Comedy Club on March 15, 2019 in Pasadena, California.
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The artist departures from Spotify related to Joe Rogan’s controversial comments about COVID-19 continue to roll in after Neil Young led the charge, and after Spotify addressed the issue and Rogan issued an apology. The latest performers to ask the streaming service to remove their catalogs? Graham Nash and India Arie.

Nash issued a statement on Tuesday announcing his support of his former bandmate Young and taking the streamer to task for continuing to enable Rogan.

“Having heard the Covid disinformation spread by Joe Rogan on Spotify, I completely agree with and support my friend Neil Young and I am requesting that my solo recordings be removed from the service,” Nash wrote. “There is a difference between being open to varying viewpoints on a matter and knowingly spreading false information which some 270 medical professionals have derided as not only false but dangerous. Likewise, there is a difference between misinformation, in which one is unaware that what is being said is false, versus disinformation which is knowingly false and intended to mislead and sway public opinion.” The “270 medical professionals” he cites are those who penned a recent open letter to Spotify.

“The opinions publicized by Rogan are so dishonest and unsupported by solid facts that Spotify becomes an enabler in a way that costs people their lives,” he continued.

However, Rogan’s dangerous views about COVID-19 aren’t the only reason artists are exiting the platform. In a new Instagram post, India Arie explained that she’s leaving Spotify not simply because of Rogan’s COVID-19 misinformation, but because of his recent controversial comments about race.

“Neil Young opened a door that I must walk through,” Arie wrote. “I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons other than his Covid interviews. For me, it’s also his language around race. What I am talking about is respect — who gets it and who doesn’t. Paying musicians a fraction of a penny? And him $100 [million]? This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep. I’m tired.”

Rogan received backlash last month over remarks he made during an interview with Jordan Peterson. In the interview, Rogan claimed it’s “very strange” that anyone would refer to themselves as Black unless they’re from the “darkest place” of Africa, adding, “There’s such a spectrum of shades of people. Unless you’re talking to someone who is, like, 100% African, from the darkest place, where they are not wearing any clothes all day and they’ve developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun. You know, even the term Black is weird. When you use it for people who are literally my color, it becomes very strange.”

Daily Show host Trevor Noah recently called out Rogan over the comments, saying, “The things these guys seem to be ignoring is that Black people didn’t call themselves Black. You understand that, right? It’s not like Black people were like, ‘We’re Black.’ No. In Africa, we have tribes. We have cultures. Zulu. Xhosa. Baganda. Igbo. Wakandans! But then white people got there, and they were like, ‘Wow. There’s a lot of Black people here. A lot of Black people.’ Then in America, they invented a rule that if you had one drop of Black blood in you, that makes you Black — which defined how you were treated by the government and by society.”

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