NESS’S NOTES: Neil Young is a hypocrite

An iconic artist standing up for truth and safety sounds like a powerful statement to make.

That is if it’s genuine, of course.

It’s not exactly news anymore that Neil Young removed his music from Spotify after getting fed up with podcaster Joe Rogan, who’s been under fire lately after footage resurfaced of him repeatedly using a racial slur.

In December, Rogan, who has a $100 million contract with Spotify, interviewed a doctor on his podcast who claimed that COVID-19 vaccines increase risk of reinfection — a false claim. Rogan also said that he doesn’t believe that “young, healthy” people need the vaccine — overlooking the fact that young, generally healthy people could still infect someone who is high-risk for serious complications from COVID-19.

On Jan. 24, Young responded to this chaos with a letter to his management team and record label, “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

After his music was removed from the platform, Young said that he hoped that Spotify workers would “get out of that place before it eats up your soul.”

But that comment sounds a bit erratic.

Data collected between October 2019 and September 2021 shows salaries for Spotify employees as being between $60,000 and $293,000, and in 2021, Newsweek listed Spotify as being “America’s Most Loved Workplace.”

If safety is Young’s motivation for ditching Spotify, surely an endorsement for Amazon — a company notorious for abusing its workers and giving minimal pay — would be out of the question.

But he decided to promote Amazon Music, offering his listeners four months free on the platform, citing Amazon as being a leader in Hi-Res audio.

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, makes $78.5 billion annually as of 2019. The average Amazon worker got paid $29,000 in 2021, meaning Bezos rakes in 270,000 times more money.

From threatening to fire workers for being sick and missing work, having an only $15 minimum wage, and punishing employees for going to the restroom, Amazon is not a company that’s socially responsible to endorse — especially from a musician who claims to care so much about others’ safety.

Young got understandably upset about a podcast. But how can someone claim to care about public safety and then voice support for a company with a reputation like Amazon?

You can’t have both.