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Music

Spotify CEO condemns Joe Rogan’s use of racist slurs but refuses to intervene with podcast

@TomTaylorFO

The last two weeks saw Joe Rogan come under fire for disseminating misinformation on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, regarding Covid-19. Folk musician Neil Young brought the matter under the microscope after he left Spotify over the matter and other musicians soon followed. 

Now, Joe Rogan has once again hit the headlines after a video went viral online compiling the comedian’s use of the n-word during an early podcast episode. This controversy has brought his legitimacy further into question, however, Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek, has confirmed that while he condemns the remarks, he does not plan to intervene against the exclusive platform. 

“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 wrote in a statement submitted to The Hollywood Reporter in light of the video surfacing. 

Continuing: “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.”

Joe Rogan is currently under a $100million multi-year deal with Spotify and they responded to the previous misinformation dispute surrounding his exclusive podcast by introducing the pioneering misinformation warning before applicable material. 

Joe Rogan also apologised over the weekend regarding his comments. “I’m making this video to talk about the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly,” he began.

While he apologised unreservedly and expressed that he hoped it be a “teachable moment” that we all could learn from, he also tried to justify his usage in some way. “Now I know that to most people there’s no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast. And I agree with that now,” he said. 

Adding: “I haven’t said it in years. But for a long time when I would bring that word up like if it would come up in conversation, instead of saying the n-word I would just say the word. I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing.”

His podcast receives an average of 11 million listeners, and it is unclear whether any of the recent controversies will affect that figure. What is certain, however, is that it will be remaining on Spotify for the foreseeable.