Following controversy about Joe Rogan’s spread of COVID misinformation on his Spotify podcast, the streamer has again defended its decision to stick by him despite the protest of several other artists on the platform. In recent weeks, musicians like Neil Young, Graham Nash, and Joni Mitchell have boycotted Spotify and asked that their music be removed.
In addition to misinformation regarding vaccines, Rogan has been scrutinized for his past use of racial slurs, which Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has called “incredibly hurtful,” yet still said he does “not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but cancelling voices is a slipper slope.”
In response to additional outbursts from re-emerging videos of Rogan using the n-word, Spotify quietly removed 70 episodes of Rogan’s podcast at his request. Ek also said he would invest $100 million “for the licensing, development, and marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from historically marginalized groups.”
Defending Rogan’s voice, Ek added, “I believe that more speech on more issues can be highly effective in improving the status quo and enhancing the conversation together.”