Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have addressed the issue around Spotify after the streaming platform came under fire for allowing Covid-19 misinformation. The couple’s podcast company, Archewell Audio, currently holds a multi-year deal with Spotify, which was announced in December 2020, and is reportedly worth USD 25 million.
With their statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex join the many artists calling Spotify out, and even pulling their music from the platform in protest of it allowing Joe Rogan’s podcast to continue. The US commentator has infamously made a number of false claims against the Covid-19 vaccine and also hosted anti-vaccine guests on his podcast. Published via their nonprofit Archewell, the couple’s statement 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.”
They added that they first flagged the issue in April and have since continued to urge Spotify to no longer provide a platform to such misinformation. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Among the public figures who have taken action in light of the controversy is Neil Young. The Canadian-American musician requested to pull his music from the platform via a statement. “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,” he wrote. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” Young was backed by fellow Canadian singer Joni Mitchell who stated, “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”