Spotify quietly removes Joe Rogan podcast episodes amid racist clips
Editor’s note: This article mentions and discusses racially offensive and insensitive language.
Episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast have been quietly removed from Spotify after a compilation of racist clips from the show emerged last week.
JREMissing.com, a website that tracks missing episodes on Spotify, found around 70 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) mysteriously disappeared on Friday. There are currently 113 missing episodes with far-right radio show host Alex Jones and Canadian comedian Russell Peters.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sent staff a late-night memo on Friday, addressing Rogan’s use of the N-word on his show in the past, which surfaced after singer India Arie shared a clip compilation on Instagram.
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“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 wrote in the memo, which was obtained by multiple US media outlets, including The Verge. “I know this situation leaves many of you feeling drained, frustrated and unheard.”
Ek confirmed that after speaking with Rogan and his team about “his history of using some racially insensitive language,” the podcast host “chose to remove a number of episodes from Spotify,” according to reports from The Verge.
On Saturday, Rogan posted a video on Instagram apologizing for saying the N-word on his show, specifically referring to Arie’s compilation of clips.
“I know that to most people, there is 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,” said Rogan. “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.”
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He goes on to explain how he used the N-word when talking about comedians Richard Prior, Redd Foxx and Lenny Bruce, who used the word back in the 70s.
This is just another development in the many controversies surrounding Rogan’s podcast. Arie announced her departure from Spotify last week, joining artists Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in protest of the COVID-19 disinformation JRE is spreading.
Hundreds of medical professionals have signed an open letter to Spotify calling for the streaming giant to implement a misinformation policy after a recent episode of JRE featured Dr. Robert Malone, a so-called anti-vaccine darling.
Streaming competitor Apple Music made sure to capitalize on this by spotlighting Young and Mitchell on its music homepage two weeks ago with ads featuring photos of the artists and captions that read, “Neil Lives Here” and “Joni Lives Here.”