CEO Daniel Ek says Joe Rogan’s comments are “incredibly hurtful” but he still has a home at Spotify

Joe Rogan

It seems every day you read or watch the news, the headlines include Joe Rogan.

While many say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, I’m sure even Joe is getting tired of all the controversy concerning his podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’.

Joe Rogan boasts a following of approximately 11 million viewers making it Spotify’s most popular show.

First trouble came to light with the misrepresentation of COVID-19, and more recently clips of past racial slurs were identified with Rogan having to walk-back comments and apologize as well.

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“I don’t always get it right. I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view.” said Rogan in speaking about COVID.

And then again Rogan apologized concerning using racial slurs on past shows saying “the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”

Joe Rogan, UFC 249, Joe Rogan Experience

Earlier this year, a group of nearly 300 doctors and scientists sent an open letter to Spotify asking they stop misinformation and controversies about COVID-19, this after Joe Rogan had Dr. Robert Malone on his show in December.

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Following the open letter from medical professionals, musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell asked their music be removed from Spotify once again citing COVID misinformation being spread on Joe Rogans podcasts.

Most recently singer India Arie asked that her music and podcasts as well be pulled from Spotify explaining on Instagram that she finds Rogan “problematic for reasons other than his COVID interviews” adding, “it’s also his language around race.” Taking to Instagram again Arie posted edited footage of YouTube clips showing Rogan using racial slurs several times in past episodes of his shows.

Spotify has come under heavy criticism and have seen their stocks take a bit of a roller coaster ride over the past few weeks. Spotify paid a reported $100 million for ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ exclusive licensing deal back in 2020.

Apparently Spotify is standing by their man.

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Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO sent a memo to company employees yesterday, Sunday February 6th, stating that while Rogan’s comments are “incredibly hurtful” and “do not represent the values of this company”, Rogan still has a home with Spotify.

“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more,” Ek said in the memo. “And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress.”

Joe Rogan is also a UFC color commentator.

Do you agree with Spotify standing by Joe Rogan and his podcasts? Has the COVID-19 misinformation and now the past racial slurs changed your opinion of Joe Rogan? Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!

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