Silencing Joe Rogan ‘not the answer,’ says Spotify Boss
The chief executive of Spotify has rejected calls to ban Joe Rogan from the platform after removing dozens of his podcast episodes.
Spotify’s boss Daniel Ek apologised to staff for “incredibly hurtful” comments made by the popular podcast host, but said he would not “silence” Rogan.
The comments come after videos emerged last week of Rogan using the N-word multiple times in episodes of his podcast. The celebrity presenter was already under fire for spreading misinformation about Covid-19 on his show.
“Not only are some of Joe Rogan’s comments incredibly hurtful — I want to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company,” Ek told Spotify staff in an email sent on Sunday evening and viewed by the FT.
“I want to make one point very clear — I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer,” Ek continued. “We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but cancelling voices is a slippery slope.”
Around 70 episodes of Rogan’s podcast were taken down over the weekend including a particularly offensive 2015 discussion with far-right commentator Chuck Johnson, in which Johnson claimed that black people have a “proclivity to violence.”
Artists Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Arie asked for their music to be removed from Spotify in protest against Rogan, who was paid $100m by the streaming site for the exclusive rights to host his show. Amid the controversy, Rogan has apologised for using the N-word.
Read more: Spotify rolls out covid content warnings after Neil Young and Joni Mitchell launch protest