Joe Rogan shrugs off Spotify boycott in new comments on misinformation row: ‘It’s been good’

New episode went live late on Thursday

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Friday 04 February 2022 19:13 GMT
Video mash-up compares Joe Rogan’s apology to what he says on podcast

Joe Rogan has shrugged off the row over the spread of misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines on the Spotify platform as a new episode of The Joe Rogan Experience went live following a seven-day hiatus.

Other than Rogan’s apology over the controversy, which was posted to the platform on 31 January, there had been no new episode since 27 January when the host sat down UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Juliana Peña.

In the new episode, Rogan chatted with Andy Stumpf, a retired Navy Seal, who is billed as a record-setting wingsuit pilot, Base jumper, public speaker, and host of the popular podcast Cleared Hot.

About halfway through the episode, Rogan was asked by Mr Stumpf how he was handling the “Spotify chatter”.

“Yeah, it’s been good. Stay offline. Ignore it. And everything seems okay. There’s nothing much I could do. You know, if I engaged with all of it, you know, I put out a video a couple of days ago … other than that, not much I could do,” said Rogan.

In the following conversation the pair agreed that people are smart enough to look at complex situations and come to their own conclusions.

Rogan called out “people like CNN” who are “losing the information and attention game”. He criticised them for calling out other shows to be limited or censored when they should be doing better themselves and addressing why more people do not payment them attention.

He also proposed that his conversational format was preferable to a panel of people with “planned out rants” who are “trying to go viral” and said that there have been times where he has told people to stop because they do not know what they’re talking about.

New content for the show usually goes live four times a week, with episodes predominantly released Tuesday through Friday. Interviews are pre-recorded and are usually between two and four hours long.

Between Friday 28 January and Wednesday 2 February, no new episodes were uploaded until the new edition was posted late on Thursday.

The Independent twice contacted Spotify for comment regarding the apparent lack of new content from one of their biggest and most controversial stars.

Responding to the controversy over vaccine and Covid misinformation, Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek told his staff at a townhall that the streaming giant does not closely monitor Rogan’s output as it sees itself as a distribution platform not his publisher, according to a report.

Both fans and critics of the podcast were eagerly awaiting Rogan’s return to see if there will be any change of tone or format following the outcry and apology.

The Joe Rogan Experience has a reported 11 million listeners per episode, and since the controversy erupted, Rogan has pledged to change his content moving forwards.

A wider range of guests has been touted and he says he will do “his best” to research topics more extensively before interviews take place.

During the hiatus, Rogan was active through his own social media accounts, retweeting news items and posting videos and photos to Instagram.

Last week, legendary musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell both requested that Spotify remove their catalogue of tracks from the platform, in what was a direct protest against Mr Rogan.

Other artists who have also left the platform include Graham Nash, India Arie, and Nils Lofgren.

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