Recently, a few popular artists, such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have decided to pull their music from the Spotify platform after comments from Joe Rogan were made on his podcast, which shares the platform.
While I personally do not agree with Rogan or his commentary, I do think that it is a bit excessive to completely remove yourself from and banish a platform that really has nothing to do with the comments being made.
Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, is currently exclusive to Spoitfy users, and the company has refused to remove Rogan’s inappropriate content, leading to Young and Mitchell’s outrage and removal of their music.
While I understand that Rogan’s comments can be harmful, it is easy to ignore him, and to simply not listen to his podcast.
Rogan has even gone as far to apologize for his commentary, however Young and Mitchells content remains off of Spotify.
I’ve written before about how it can be possible, and should be encouraged to engage in open discussion with others, rather than assume a hateful attitude. This is something that people of all political ideologies are guilty of, and should be discouraged from. I know this idea may be difficult to do in this situation, but still not impossible, and I believe an open discussion could have avoided some of the harsh outcomes of this situation.
On any platform, whether is be social media, streaming, or even television, there are going to be other creators and users that believe in, and discuss things that we may disagree with. I personally believe that if it is possible to ignore that person, and easy to avoid their content if you dont want to see it, then it should not really be an issue.
Rogan is not an overwhelmingly popular celebrity. He does have his fans, and a very successful podcast, but I have never had an issue with seeing his content when I did not want to, and even if I had, it would be very easy to click “not interested” and go about my day.
I do understand why Rogan’s commentary was harmful, spreading false vaccine information is not okay, however, Rogan even came forward and apologized for this action, which I believe should be taken seriously. An apology does not remove the situation, but acknowledging guilt, and being willing to hold an open mind to what was done wrong is seemed to be what Young asked for in the first place.
I feel like following Young’s ideology of removing himself from the platform feels like the equivalent of removing a left leaning news broadcasting company from cable television because a right leaning news broadcasting company also occupies the same company. Just because they’re on the same cable service, does not reflect the views of that service, nor will it affect viewership of either news company.
In conclusion, it is truly up to Young, Mitchell and any other artist removing Spotify content whether or not their art stays on the platform, and while it is important to respect their decision to do so, I still find it pointless for them to remove their content over commentary that in no way will be reflective of their music, and will not be pushed upon their fans if they remain as uninterested in Rogan’s comments as I am.