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Stewart Lee to remove stand-up catalogue from Spotify amid Joe Rogan ‘misinformation’ controversy

‘For too long internet platforms have been able to spread lies with impunity,’ said the comedian

Louis Chilton
Thursday 03 February 2022 05:25 GMT
Stewart Lee pictured in 2007
Stewart Lee pictured in 2007 (Getty Images)

Comedian Stewart Lee is removing his stand-up albums from Spotify, amid controversy surrounding the company’s handling of Covid-related misinformation.

Spotify has faced heavy criticism over misinformation featured in episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience, a popular podcast hosted by US comedian Joe Rogan released exclusively on Spotify.

Lee follows artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in turning their backs on the streaming platform.

In a statement given to Chortle, he said: “I am fully aware this will make no financial difference to Spotify whatsoever, but for too long internet platforms have been able to spread lies with impunity, free from the checks and balances that govern traditional publishers and broadcasters, and their efforts to correct this still do not go far enough.

“Perhaps artists big and small can band together to do something to change this where the money men won’t.

“The misinformation mongers Spotify are intrinsically at odds with the core values of the Stewart Lee brand,” he added, nodding to a joke in one of his early stand-up routines.

Lee is known for his acclaimed work as a touring stand-up, as well as his BBC series Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle.

Stewart Lee pictured in 2007 (Getty Images)

He has also said he is a fan of Young, whose boycott of Spotify inspired a wave of other artists to follow.

Rogan has issued an apology following the controversy, and Spotify has said that they will add disclaimers to any Covid-related content through which misinformation may be spread.

For many, however, the response was inadequate, with Spotify facing calls to take further action from members of the medical community and the White House.

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