Taking a stand. After the likes of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren urged Spotify to remove their music catalogs amid rising misinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic on the streaming platform, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are sharing their thoughts on the subject.
“Since the inception of Archewell, we have worked to address the real-time global misinformation crisis,” a Sunday, January 30, statement from a spokesperson of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex read. “Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day.”
The message continued: “Last April, our cofounders began expressing concerns of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform. We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis. We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”
The 37-year-old England native and the 40-year-old Suits alum’s note comes shortly after the 76-year-old “Harvest Moon” crooner, urged the streaming platform to remove his music in light of their partnership with Joe Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. (Rogan has been accused of spreading false information about the ongoing pandemic and vaccine efficacy via his recorded episodes.)
“Please immediately inform Spotify that I am actively canceling all my music availability on Spotify as soon as possible,” Young explained in an open letter via his website earlier this month, per Variety. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them. … I want you to let Spotify know immediately today that I want all of my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Shortly after the Canada native — who since swapped his back catalog solely to Amazon Music — shared his letter, Mitchell supported his claims.
“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 “A Case of You” songstress, 78, wrote via a Friday, January 28, open letter on her website. “This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform.”
While neither Rogan, 54, nor Spotify have addressed these allegations, the royal couple — who previously inked a multi-year deal with the platform to host their “Archewell Audio” podcast — have been outspoken about advocating for the COVID-19 vaccine since the onset of the public health crisis nearly two years ago.
“Since this pandemic began, we’ve been talking to the experts about how we can do our part,” the military veteran previously explained during a September 2021 appearance at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City. “This week, we sat with independent health leaders to further understand how we get closer to vaccine equity and ending this health crisis, but we’re battling more than a virus alone. This is a battle of misinformation, bureaucracy [and] lack of transparency.”
He noted at the time: “My wife and I believe the way you are born should not dictate your ability to survive.”