After previously standing by one of their biggest podcast stars, Joe Rogan, Spotify has now removed more than 100 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan and his guests’ candid conversations were part of the reason the podcast became so popular in the first place, but now, some misinformation regarding Covid has the host in some hot water.
According to JREMissing, a website that tracks the podcast, the streaming platform pulled a total of 113 of Rogan’s older episodes. Rogan recorded many of these before the pandemic-related controversy. These episodes reportedly featured far-right conservatives such as Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Michael Malice, Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos. Other guests included Rich Vos and Little Esther and Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey.
Apparently, some of these episodes date back to 10 years ago, demonstrating just how deeply Spotify has delved into the issue. Still, the platform’s authorities recognized that Rogan is No. 1 podcast host worldwide. CEO Daniel Ek came out with a statement that addressed his stance on the issue.
“I know some of you feel disappointed, or angry, or even hurt, by some of this content. And the fact that it remains on our platform,” Ek said last Wednesday. “There are many things that Joe Rogan says that I strongly disagree with. And I find very offensive. [However,] he is the No. 1 podcaster in the world by a wide margin.”
Ek stated that Spotify has also taken initiative to look into “more than 20,000 podcasts since the start of the pandemic” for any instances of misinformation.
“So that tells you something about the scale of this operation. It’s truly a global operation,” the Spotify CEO added.
Joe Rogan Apologizes for Previous Statements on Spotify
Joe Rogan, himself, has stepped away from his podcast temporarily amidst the PR nightmare. On Jan. 30, he apologized for the controversial comments and vowed to ensure that his show has more balance in the future. The apology came on the heels of several popular artists pulling their music and work from Spotify in protest. Among them were Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, singer/songwriter India Arie, Mary Trump, and writer Brene Brown.
“I put out a video a couple days ago; other than that, not much I can do,” Rogan said in a social media video. “When you’re hearing [calls for censorship] from people who are losing the information attention game — people like CNN — when they’re calling for other networks or shows to be censored or limited, it’s like, ‘Just do better.’”
Earlier on Friday, Rogan apologized for a second time after Arie released a clip of the Spotify podcast host repeatedly using the “n” word. He called the instance “regretful and shameful,” per the New York Post.