Streaming platform Spotify recently inked an exclusive deal with Joe Rogan, the controversial host of the most popular podcast in America, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” but some Spotify employees are reportedly “outraged” by the move.
Rogan, the 53-year-old television personality and comedian reportedly signed a contract for more than $100 million to allow Spotify exclusive streaming rights to his podcast.
“I’m personally bothered by his transphobic comments and am concerned with the way he might spread misinformation,” one Spotify employee reportedly wrote on Fishbowl, a professional networking platform last fall.
Another employee said at a town hall meeting last fall that many LGBTQ staff felt “unwelcome and alienated” after speaking to Spotify management about Rogan according to Insider. Some employees have requested that trigger warnings or fact checks be employed on the show, or that some episodes be deleted entirely.
One previous employee said that the deal to sign Rogan was the most contentious in company history. Others maintain, however, that it’s “a loud minority of people who are outraged” at Rogan.
The podcast host is no stranger to backlash, frequently sharing his uncensored opinions whether they are conventionally popular or not.
“He is the biggest voice by far that’s going to accelerate our business. 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,” a Spotify employee told the Wall Street Journal last year, prior to officially and exclusively securing Rogan.
“We want creators to create. We’re not looking to play a role in what they should say.” Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek told The Financial Times in October when asked about Rogan.
The notorious podcast host is facing new criticism from leftist media reporter, Brian Stelter, as of late after defending known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Fox News host Tucker Carlson saying they both make “logical points” in regard to recent news.
“Both men were saying things that are logical. They’re both saying … there was most likely agent provocateurs that at least had some part in that January 6th invasion of Capitol Hill. Like, that’s not an outrageous thing to say.” Rogan stated on his podcast.
“Just by connecting [Carlson] to Alex Jones, he’s trying to dismiss Tucker Carlson, but what he’s not dismissing is the actual veracity of the statements.” the host explained.
Rogan’s comments followed claims that Stelter made on CNN last weekend alleging that Carlson was “sounding more and more” like Jones, noting comments the Fox News host made on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, alleging federal operatives and law enforcement were involved in the planning of January 6th and claims that the NSA had been spying on him.
“None of that is outrageous, We know from Edward Snowden the NSA has been monitoring emails and everything. So that’s fact. … The idea that they’re not monitoring Alex Jones is insane. Whether or not they’re monitoring Tucker Carlson, I don’t know. But we know they have the ability to do so.” Rogan retorted.
Rogan slammed Stelter for his blanket praise of the vaccine and CNN for backing the host.
“This is coming from America’s trusted news source. It’s not like … this is a Pizza Gate-type thing or inter-dimensional child molesters or something completely crazy. What [Carlson’s] saying are things that aren’t crazy to say at all. … The fact that they’ve decided to do this and compare them in such a disingenuous way — it’s really weird that is something the news would want to do,” he said.
The popular host recently made waves after saying young people did not need to get the COVID vaccine.
To be clear, Rogan is not anti-vaccine, but his comments blew up regardless.
“If you’re, like, 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go ‘No,’ ” The podcast host said in an episode while maintaining that “vulnerable” demographics should get the vaccine and he has encouraged them to do so.
“Look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. You should — if you’re a healthy person, and you’re exercising all the time, and you’re young, and you’re eating well, like, I don’t think you need to worry about this,” Rogan added in a discussion on the COVID risk for those in their 20’s.
Unsurprisingly, these comments were frowned upon by many including disgraced royals, Harry and Meghan who also have a podcast deal with Spotify.
“You’ve got to be careful about what comes out of your mouth,” Prince Harry said on the “Armchair Expert” podcast in response to Rogan’s comments.
“Harry and Meghan will be less than thrilled with Spotify, it’s hugely embarrassing for them. And they have to think, ‘Do we really want to be on the same banner as Joe Rogan?’” A source told the New York Post at the time Rogan signed on. The former royals inked their deal for just 25% of what Rogan is being compensated.
So far, Spotify’s leadership has totally supported Rogan despite complaints from employees and other personalities on the platform.
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