Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Expressed "Concerns" to Spotify Over Joe Rogan COVID Misinformation Controversy

The couple has a multi-million deal with the streaming platform.

prince harry. meghan markle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle famously have a lucrative deal with Spotify. When the streaming platform came under fire recently for allowing podcast host Joe Rogan to spread COVID-19 misinformation on his hit podcast, it was only a matter of time until the Sussexes were expected to break their silence on the controversy—which they have now done.

Let's back up. When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex swapped royal life for California living, one of the most talked-about projects they announced was their Archewell Audio podcast. They released a holiday special episode on Spotify in December 2020, followed by—pardon the pun—total radio silence.

While we waited patiently for another podcast drop that never came, the Sussexes worked on many other projects, not least of which was their campaign to promote vaccine equality.

Enter Joe Rogan, who also has a Spotify-exclusive podcast, and the streaming giant's most popular one at that. Rogan has repeatedly spread misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines, a fact which made headlines last week when singer and vaccine advocate Neil Young released a statement on his website telling Spotify to choose between him and Rogan (via CNN).

Spotify removed Young's music, and creators including Joni Mitchell and Brené Brown followed him out. Spotify will now "add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19," but of course has not taken any steps to remove Rogan's podcast.

In a statement obtained by Page Six, a spokesperson for Archewell weighed in on the whole situation.

"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 began.

"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."

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.