Culture

Meghan and Harry Break Silence on Spotify’s Misinformation Controversy

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have released a statement about the controversy surrounding Spotify, as the royal couple reportedly has a $25 million deal with the streaming service. Their partnership was announced in December 2020, and they revealed they would be hosting and producing “podcasts that build community through shared experience, narratives, and values.”

Spotify has been catching heat for allowing COVID misinformation on their platform, most notably on Joe Rogan’s very popular podcast. Rogan has repeatedly made false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine and welcomed anti-vaxx guests peddling damaging theories.

Last week, Neil Young removed his entire catalog from Spotify and on Saturday, musician Joni Mitchell followed suit. In a statement from their nonprofit Archewell, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they have spoken to Spotify about their concerns regarding the controversy. The statement in full reads:

“Since the inception of Archewell, we have worked to address the real-time global misinformation crisis. Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day. Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences 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.”

They did not explicitly mention Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience. Page Six reports that last April, it was announced that the couple were joining President Joe Biden at Vax Live, which encouraged a global vaccination effort with a concert broadcast from Los Angeles. On that same day, Rogan said on his podcast that young, healthy people do not need to bother to get the vaccine, though actual medical experts say otherwise and that everyone who is able to be vaccinated should do so.

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