Ava DuVernay’s Array Exits Spotify First-Look Deal

Ava DuVernay‘s Array has parted ways with Spotify and will no longer be making podcasts for the audio giant, a spokesperson for Array confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.

Last year, Array and Spotify had announced a multiyear first-look deal for Array to produce scripted and unscripted podcasts with Gimlet, the studio owned by Spotify. Though no podcasts or shows had yet been released under the pact, multiple projects were in development, according to the Array spokesperson.

A Spotify representative declined to comment to THR.

Array’s exit from Spotify comes as the streaming company has faced continued scrutiny over its marquee podcaster, Joe Rogan, who hosts the Spotify-exclusive The Joe Rogan Experience show. Prominent musicians like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have pulled their music from the service in protest of COVID misinformation that has spread on Rogan’s show, while other artists like India.Arie have condemned the host for repeatedly using a racial slur about Black people in past clips that circulated on social media. (Rogan has apologized for using the N-word, calling his actions “regretful and shameful.”)

Earlier this month, Spotify CEO acknowledged that Rogan’s language was “incredibly hurtful” but remained steady in his decision to keep the podcaster on Spotify, citing concerns about “silencing Joe” as the platform seeks to “[elevate] all types of creators.”

“We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope,” Ek wrote in a message to staff at the time.

The New York Times first reported that Array had cut ties with Spotify.

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