Joni Mitchell removes her music from Spotify, joins Neil Young in protest of COVID 'lies'
You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
Joni Mitchell said Friday that she would join Neil Young in removing her music from Spotify in protest of the streaming service's role in spreading COVID-19 misinformation through Joe Rogan's podcast.
In a statement posted to her website, the singer-songwriter wrote, "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."
As of Saturday morning, most of Mitchell's music, including the landmark album Blue and such iconic songs as "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Both Sides Now," had already vanished from Spotify.
Representatives for the streaming service did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Spotify removed Young's catalog on Wednesday, two days after he posted an open letter with an ultimatum: Take down Rogan's podcast The Joe Rogan Experience or lose his music.
"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," Young wrote in the since-deleted letter. "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both."
As the singer's music disappeared from the platform, a Spotify spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, "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."
On her website, Mitchell also reshared a letter signed by hundreds of scientists, professors, and medical professionals calling on Spotify to "implement a misinformation policy" regarding COVID-19, citing a specific episode of The Joe Rogan Experience containing "baseless conspiracy theories."
"By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals," the letter reads. "With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE is the world's largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy."