About a week ago, I praised Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for taking a stand against toxic work culture (a.k.a. the concept of work itself) by accepting a multimillion-dollar deal from Spotify to produce podcasts and then promptly releasing just one measly special in the year-plus since. I believe my exact words were: “this serves as proof of Harry and Meghan’s extraordinary and enviable ability to appear booked and busy while doing not much at all” and “this entire affair has actually made me respect them more” and “they are true role models for that.”
Well, I am now forced to issue a mea culpa, for it turns out that H&M’s continued lack of audio content is not because they are simply refusing to do work, but actually because they are being anti-misinformation activists. Specifically, against the kind of misinformation hosted on Joe Rogan’s Spotify-exclusive podcast, which has become the topic du jour as celebrated musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have elected to remove their discographies from the platform because of the COVID-19 alternative facts that Rogan and/or his guests keep espousing on his show.
“Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day,” a spokesperson for Archewell, Harry and Meghan’s content creation company, wrote in a statement released on Sunday. Per the statement, the formerly royal couple apparently began “expressing concerns” to Spotify about the platform’s COVID misinformation all the way back in April, which could explain why they didn’t release anything that month, or the next month, or the following month when Meghan gave birth to Lilibet and of course had more important things to worry about, or the month several months after that when they reappeared in the public eye, or any other month in 2021. It’s called being a conscientious producer.
“We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does,” the statement continued, indicating that Harry and Meghan are bravely choosing to stick by their estimated £18 million deal in the hopes of making sure real change happens at Spotify. Pay attention, allies: this is what solidarity looks like.