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Joe Rogan’s Controversy and Spotify’s Response Explained

Popular content creator and podcast master Joe Rogan has incited web-wide controversy with some of his recent comments. Now, the internet are divided.

Credit: Joe Rogan on Steven Crowders "Louder With Crowder" in 2017/ Wikimedia & R Classen/Shutterstock

Popular content creator and podcast master Joe Rogan has incited web-wide controversy with some of his recent content surrounding Covid-19 vaccinations. Now, the internet is divided and Spotify has been faced with increasing pressure to take action against the commentator.

Joe Rogan is most well-known for his podcasts and YouTube videos wherein he has spoken to some of the biggest names out there, from celebrities such as Kevin Hart and Russell Brand to world-renowned scientist and entrepreneur Elon Musk.  

The entertainer has had a colorful past including as an MMA fighter, television presenter, comedian, actor, and now a social media influencer.

Rogan’s success can be attributed to the range of topics he delves into with his guests. Topics have included drug addiction, fame, conspiracy theories, and science. However, the range of Rogan’s content cannot be summarized with such ease. The podcaster also won the hearts of millions with his open-minded approach to many sensitive topics, giving a voice to an extremely diverse group of interviewees over the years.

Despite his widespread success, the commentator has sparked controversy in recent times with his take on vaccinations. Rogan’s views have been branded as anti-vax and while he has never explicitly confirmed this, the podcaster’s comments have stirred concern in many listeners who feel he is using his platform irresponsibly.

Credit: Mufid Majnun, Unsplash

In April 2021, Rogan made his first comment about vaccination specifically in relation to the Covid-19 vaccine. Rogan made the suggestion that the vaccine is not necessary for young healthy people. It seems that the progression of the pandemic did not alter his views, as he recently interviewed a known anti-vaxxer,  Dr. Robert Malone, who was banned from Twitter for sharing Covid-19 vaccine misinformation.

Spotify is undeniably the creator’s largest platform, where his content receives up to 190 million downloads every month.

The scientific community slapped back at Rogan, quick to express their dismay at the unfalsified claims which have been debunked several times.

Scientists were not the only ones outraged by Rogan’s promotion of clearly anti-vax sentiments, with several celebrities speaking up on the matter. Iconic rock musicians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young led the way, pulling their music from Spotify in defiance of the platform not holding Rogan accountable.

The controversy only escalated when the matter started trending on Twitter. Several people started sharing the hashtag encouraging people to stop using Spotify which in turn, limits support of Joe Rogan. Spotify employees threatened to quit, and Spotify users all over the world started deleting their accounts in protest of the entertainer still being allowed to have his platform.

Spotify has faced immense pressure to remove the platform from Rogan and take action as a result of the Covid-19 misinformation. The music streaming platform has now added a content advisory warning to Rogan’s podcasts, making it clear to users that they should approach content with some skepticism.

Spotify’s Chief Executive Daniel Ek published a blog post highlighting the importance of free speech, making it clear that Joe Rogan would not be punished or de-platformed for his comments despite how controversial and potentially harmful.

Rogan has since spoken out about the conflict, apologizing for his comments and stating that he will strive to share more balanced views on his channel.

For more about the Joe Rogan drama, read about his beef with Neil Young and what the musician had to say about it all.

Written By

Digital Copywriter, Journalist, and Multimedia Content Executive.

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