AceShowbiz - Neil Young insisted that he's not trying to censor Joe Rogan. The singer, who urged Spotify to remove his music due to the persistent stream of COVID misinformation on "The Joe Rogan Experience", made it clear that he supports "free speech."
The 76-year-old musician offered his clarification in a new letter on The Neil Young Archives. "I support free speech," he wrote, according to Rolling Stone. "I have never been in favor of censorship."
"Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information," he explained further. "I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others."
Neil asked Spotify to pull his music from the platfrom in an open letter that he shared on Monday, January 24. In the letter, he challenged the company to choose between him and Joe, who has been accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.
"I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines - potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them," the Canadian-American crooner argued. "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both."
On Wednesday, Spotify confirmed that it has started removing Neil's songs. In a statement, the company said, "We want all the world's music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators."
"We have detailed content policies in place and we've removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic," the message added. "We regret Neil's decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon."
While celebrities like David Crosby, Daryl Hannah and Mia Farrow supported Neil's decision, some others decided to defend Joe. One in particular was Howard Stern, who said on his Sirius XM radio show, "I don't want to see Joe Rogan cancelled… Everything in this world comes down to money."
As for Joy Behar, she acknowledged that the podcaster is "a horror" because of his COVID beliefs. Though so, "The View" co-host believed that Spotify doesn't need to kick him out, saying, "The way to counter that speech is with more speech... The way to counter it is with boycotts."