The Joe Rogan Controversy: Celebrities Clash with Spotify’s top Podcast Streamer


Joe Rogan is under fire after various accusations of spreading misinformation regarding Covid-19 on his hit podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, earlier this week. 

The famous American comedian and commentator is receiving countless amounts of social media backlash for some of the remarks he stated.

Rogan recently published a podcast interview with Dr. Robert Malone, an American physician and biochemist researcher for the variants and effects of Covid-19. However, Dr. Malone is most notably famous for his public support of the anti-vaccination movement and controversial beliefs regarding Covid-19. 

During the interview, Rogan agreed with various comments made by Dr. Malone related to the ineffectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine among adults as well as children/minors. The interview was published to Rogan’s Spotify account December, 2021, where millions of listeners tuned in to hear the controversial remarks made by Rogan.

“The Joe Rogan Experience” is currently Spotify’s most streamed podcast with nearly 11 million daily listeners. The streaming service and Rogan struck a hefty multi-year contract in 2020 of $100 million, making the podcast exclusive to Spotify only.

Earlier this week, famous musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell recently boycotted Spotify for continuing to host “The Joe Rogan Experience”, accusing Rogan of spreading misinformation regarding Covid-19 in the United States. 

Both musicians use Spotify to stream their music on. Neil Young announced that he would pull all of his music from the streaming service to protest Spotify’s relationship with Rogan.

Joni Mitchell later joined Young’s protest and removed all of her music from her Spotify platform as well. Other celebrities such as Nils Lofgreen, lead guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, also removed his music from Spotify.

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them… They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both,” wrote Lofgreen’s open letter to RollingStone Magazine.

Following the mainstream backlash received by Young and Mitchell, Rogan posted an apology video to his Instagram account on January 30. 

In the video, Rogan apologizes for any possible controversial statements he might have said but also defends his beliefs regarding Covid-19 and the future of his podcast. 

“I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial,” Rogan added. “I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.”

He apologized to Young and Mitchel in the video, as well as Spotify for enduring the firestorm from his podcast: “I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time and I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much heat from it.”

Rogan also defends his podcast in the apology video, making remarks to how his podcast on Spotify may change in the future. 

“These podcasts are very strange because they’re just conversations,” said Rogan. “Oftentimes I have no idea what I’m going to talk about until I sit down and talk to people. And that’s why some of my ideas are not that prepared or fleshed out because I’m literally having them in real time.”

Although Rogan’s podcast still currently remains on the streaming service, Spotify is taking heavy tolls from the controversy. Spotify’s shares dropped 12% after Neil Young removed his music from his platform, and is gradually declining. 

Spotify released a statement on January 30 following the turmoil, making claims to Covid-19 sensory advisors and platform rules and guidelines.

“We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19. This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources.”

To learn more about Spotify’s new Covid-19 updates, click here


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