Joe Rogan, the host of The Joe Rogan Experience, which became America’s most popular podcast in 2020, is upsetting some Spotify staffers. However, employees feel no one is listening to their complaints. In a widely publicized deal, the 53-year-old comedian and former Fear Factor host will receive $100 million to exclusively stream on the platform.
“I’m personally bothered by his transphobic comments and am concerned with the way he might spread misinformation,” one Spotify employee wrote last fall on a networking channel on the app Fishbowl.
Rogan’s podcast “has become one of the Internet’s foremost vectors for anti-wokeness,” wrote Justin Peters in Slate. Rogan has also been called an “unlikely political influencer” by The New York Times, due to his reach.
Another employee of the streaming giant told the Insider that it’s only “a loud minority of people who are outraged” by Rogan. Loud minority or not, these employees have spoken up. At a town hall meeting in September, many employees said they think the show is anti-transgender, The Wall Street Journal reported in October.
A request for editorial supervision came and went without action. Rogan then retweeted a video mocking the employees, saying they were taking it all too seriously. “In the case of Joe Rogan, a total of 10 meetings have been held with various groups and individuals to hear their respective concerns,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a September meeting, Vice reported. “And some of them want Rogan removed because of things he’s said in the past.”
One of Joe Rogan’s biggest motivators to move his show from YouTube to Spotify was that he claimed YouTube tended to “censor people without censoring them.” The move still proved difficult for fans of the show, and their dissatisfaction with the move only grew after discovering that more than 40 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience had been removed from the platform.
“He is the biggest voice by far that’s going to accelerate our business,” an employee of the media giant told the WSJ at the time. “Getting him on Spotify — and soon exclusively — is going to help bring a lot more audiences onto the platform, and hopefully we can spread that to other programming.”
Joe Rogan hoped that the move to Spotify would go unnoticed. Instead, he’s getting more attention, he told Breaking Points hosts Krystal and Saagar.
“One of the things I was hoping about Spotify… [is that] I’ll be less famous,” he said. He admitted that it would have been a “nice” change. But instead, the host pointed out that he became even more of a “household name” after switching platforms. “It was [mentioned] in Forbes and all this sh*t, and it was just like, whoa!”
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