India Arie Pulls Songs From Spotify Over Derogatory Racial Comments
India Arie has requested for her songs to be pulled out from Spotify.
She joins the list of prominent artistes to declare that she will be removing her music from Spotify but for a different reason. In recent times, a host of stars have asked that their songs should be taken out from Spotify because the streaming service helped spread misinformation on the Covid-19 vaccine.
Arie’s departure from the streaming service is due to Spotify’s podcast host Joe Rogan’s comment on race.
The R&B singer said in an Instagram post that Rogan’s “language around race” was “problematic,” referring to an interview on Rogan’s podcast where he made derogatory comments about African nations and said it was “weird” to use the term “Black” as an identifier.
During the discussion of the “spectrum of shades of people,” with guest Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist and climate change sceptic, Rogan said “Unless you’re talking to someone who is like 100% African, from the darkest place, where they’re not wearing any clothes all day, and they’ve developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun, you know, even the term ‘Black’ is weird,” Rogan said on the podcast.
“Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walkthrough,” Arie wrote on Monday.
In an open letter by Neil Young, the rock star announced he wanted to remove his music from Spotify because Rogan continued to spread vaccine misinformation on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which is Spotify’s most popular podcast of 2021. Joining Young days later, Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren announced they would pull their music from the platform for the same reason. Spotify’s reaction to the pullout by the artistes was that it would add a content advisory to podcast episodes in which Covid-19 is discussed.
Other artistes who have supported Young include his former bandmates David Crosby and Graham Nash. It was reported on Tuesday that Nash requested for his solo recording to be removed from Spotify. Since Crosby sold the rights to his music, he can not influence whether it is pulled from Spotify.
Arie said in her post that while she believes in freedom of speech, she finds Rogan “problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews …”
Arie also stated her complaint was with “RESPECT – who gets it and who doesn’t.”
“Paying musicians a Fraction of a penny? And HIM $100M?” she wrote, referring to Rogan’s overall deal with Spotify alleged to be worth more than $100 million, according to a 2020 report from the Wall Street Journal.
“This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep,” she concluded. “I’m tired.”
Spotify has been criticised for insufficient royalties in the past. According to a 2021 report from New York Times, the industry estimates Spotify’s payout rate at a half-cent per stream, a rate usually shared among record companies and artiste.
Rogan initially reacted to Young’s decision to withdraw his song in an Instagram video on Sunday saying he was “not trying to promote misinformation” but “have interesting conversations.” He also said he was “sorry” that Spotify was under fire and thanked them for supporting him.