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After the resurfacing of racist language and a Neil Young-led boycott, Joe Rogan is painting Spotify into an awkward corner
It’s no secret that Joe Rogan hosts the most popular podcast in the world, with Spotify paying a reported $100 million for the rights to be the exclusive home to The Joe Rogan Experience.
Since making that deal, Rogan has come under fire for welcoming all manner of kooks and crackpots to his show and allowing them to spew misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, to the point that 270 doctors signed an open letter condemning him, and musicians ranging from Neil Young to Joni Mitchell to India Arie have pulled their music from Spotify in protest.
Arie, however, wasn’t just complaining about COVID misinformation, but also shared a link to a compilation video taken from episodes of the podcast, in which Rogan used the N-word a staggering 22 times.
Rogan apologized (the phrases out of context and teachable moment were trotted out), while Spotify pulled dozens of old episodes from circulation—even Dwayne The Rock Johnson, who had previously shared his support, took a big step back after the release of the N-word video after becoming educated to his complete narrative.
So what happens next? Will more musicians pull their music? Will Spotify cut Rogan loose? Or will everyone involved hope the whole thing blows over?
Time will tell.