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Music

Stewart Lee joins Spotify boycott

Alternative comedian Stewart Lee is the latest person to demand that Spotify remove his material from their platform. Neil Young and David Crosby pulled their music from the outlet as a form of protest to what they consider misinformation from the Joe Rogan podcast.

Graham Nash and Stephen Stills issued a statement with Crosby, asking Spotify to respectfully withdraw any music they recorded separately, and more importantly, the work they committed together.

And now Lee joins them, writing, “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.”

But he is hopeful that he can cause a ripple, adding: “Perhaps artists big and small can band together to do something to change this where the money men won’t.”

Rogan took to social media, and explained the reasons why his “podcast has been accused of spreading dangerous information”. Rogan also admitted that two of his guests were seen by many to be controversial.

Rogan purportedly books the guests himself and says he wishes to bring clarity, balance and contradiction to the podcast in the future. “I’m going to do my best, in the future, to balance things out,” he said. He added that the purpose of his podcast isn’t to be needlessly polemical but wishes to offer a platform for guests to express their opinion without scrutiny or direction.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has joined in the debate. Concerned by criticisms, Ek admitted: “It’s been a few notable days here at Spotify. When we entered the podcast space in 2019, we assumed it would challenge and test our teams in new ways.” The Swedish billionaire was aphoristic, focusing on the lessons the company had to learn.

Ek claims most criticisms normally die down after a couple of weeks, but with Lee, Young and Crosby making their voices heard, it’s unlikely that the news will quieten for a while yet. More as we hear it.

Stream Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ below.