Joe Rogan Is Sorry Neil Young & Joni Mitchell “Feel That Way” About His COVID Vaccine Misinformation On Spotify
Over the last week, one of the biggest news stories in the music business is about the biggest music streaming service and about its fealty to a hugely popular non-musician who won’t stop spreading COVID misinformation. Last week, Neil Young wrote an open letter claiming that he wanted to remove his music from Spotify because of the streaming service’s podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, on which host Joe Rogan and some of his guests have repeatedly said all kinds of wild shit about COVID vaccines. Spotify promptly removed Young’s music, and fellow artists like Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren also removed their music in solidarity with Young. Now, Joe Rogan has publicly responded to that whole story.
In a long Instagram video posted last night, Joe Rogan said that his show is really just a series of conversations meant to be entertaining, and he described it as a kind of beast that’s grown out of control. He also takes issue with the word “misinformation,” claiming that the word’s definition seems to change all the time, and he says that expressing certain opinions now assumed to be correct would’ve gotten you “banned” from a lot of places a few months ago. (His assertions on this are debatable at best.)
Rogan doesn’t exactly apologize to Neil Young and Joni Mitchell except to say that he’s sorry they’re mad about his show: “I’m very sorry that they feel that way. I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan. I’ve always been a Neil Young fan… I’m not mad at Neil Young.”
Yesterday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek issued a statement saying that Spotify would launch a COVID-19 information hub and that any podcast discussing COVID would have a content advisory linking to that info hub. In his video, Rogan says he’s fine with having a disclaimer on his show: “One of the things that Spotify wants to do, that I agree with, is at the beginning of these controversial podcasts, specifically these ones about COVID, is to put a disclaimer and say that you should speak with your physician and that these people, the opinions they express, are contrary to the opinions of the consensus of experts, which I think is very important. Sure. Have it on there. I’m very happy with that.”
Rogen also says that he’s “open” to the idea of speaking to “more experts, with differing opinions, right after I have the controversial ones.” He also says, “I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time, and I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much heat for it.” He adds, “Even thank you to the haters. It’s good to have some haters.”
By way of illustrating that he’s not mad at Neil Young, Rogen tells a story about when he was a teenager, working concert security and walking off the job in the middle of a Neil Young show because the crowd got too rowdy. Rogan also sings a brief falsetto rendition of Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” and misidentifies Rickie Lee Jones’ “Chuck E’s In Love” as a Joni Mitchell song.