Ava DuVernay’s company ends Spotify deal

Her film distribution company signed a multi-year first-look deal back in January 2021

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Ava DuVernay‘s Array film distribution company has officially exited from Spotify. After announcing a multi-year first-look deal last year, a spokesperson for Array has announced their departure from the streaming giant.

As theGrio previously reported, DuVernay’s company was set to produce multiple scripted and unscripted shows for the streaming service through Gimlet (the Spotify-owned podcast studio) when the deal was announced in January 2021.

4th Annual Celebration Of Black Cinema And Television Presented By The Critics Choice Association
Ava DuVernay attends the 4th Annual Celebration of Black Cinema and Television at Fairmont Century Plaza on Dec, 6, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images,)

“Recognizing the undeniable power of voice and sound, I’m thrilled to extend Array’s storytelling into the realm of podcasts,” DuVernay shared in a statement at the time. “The opportunity to work with Lydia Polgreen and her passionate team drew us to Spotify as a home for our audio narratives and we couldn’t be more excited to begin this new creative journey.”

Polgreen of Gimlet also shared a statement at the time, stating, “Ava DuVernay and her team at Array are at the forefront of telling powerful stories about the most pressing issues of our time. We’re so excited to bring their passion for lifting up forgotten and neglected voices to life in audio.”

Despite plans for these projects, none of them were ever released under the deal. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “under the pact, multiple projects were in development.”

As theGrio previously reported, Spotify has been under fire this year due to their popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who said the N-word multiple times on his show, as well as spread COVID-19 disinformation.

Daniel Ek, the founder and CEO of Spotify, shared earlier this month, “There are no words I can say to adequately convey how deeply sorry I am for the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continues to impact each of you. I think it’s important you’re aware that we’ve had conversations with Joe and his team about some of the content in his show, including his history of using some racially insensitive language.”

UFC 269 Weigh-in
Joe Rogan introduces fighters during the UFC 269 ceremonial weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Dec. 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The backlash to Rogan has led many artists to pull their work from the service, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell due to the COVID-19 disinformation and India. Arie, especially for his past use of the N-Word. Despite Ek’s acknowledgment of the behavior, Spotify has continued to stick by Rogan.

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