Spotify has responded to the controversy surrounding its platform and Joe Rogan.
The UFC color commentator has been at the center of discontent lately. Many artists have pulled their music from Spotify over what they deem to be “misinformation” on Rogan’s podcast regarding COVID-19 and vaccines.
Hollywood star and WWE legend, The Rock, initially showed his support for Rogan. That was rescinded after musician India Arie unearthed a compilation of Rogan saying the n-word on his podcast throughout the years. Those who still support Rogan say those clips were taken out of context.
Spotify Sticks With Joe
Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek, issued an internal memo (via Axios). In the memo, Ek said that while the company has spoken to Joe Rogan over the controversies, he will not be censored.
“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. Following these discussions and his own reflections, he chose to remove a number of episodes from Spotify. He also issued his own apology over the weekend.
“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.”
Rogan has issued statements on both the issue of how COVID-19 and vaccines are perceived on his podcast as well as his past use of the n-word. Regarding the COVID-19 topic, Rogan admitted he isn’t able to be as prepared as he’d like to be when discussing the matter and insists he simply looks at the subject from all aspects.
Rogan has also echoed his supporters, saying the clips of him using the n-word were taken out of context and that he isn’t a racist.