Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, has apologized to his staff for how the Joe Rogan podcast scandal has affected them, but he has stated that he has no intentions to remove the podcaster from the site.
“There are no words I can say to adequately convey how deeply sorry I am for the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continues to impact each of you,” he wrote in a note to staff that was provided to the media by a Spotify spokesperson.
“Not only are some of Joe Rogan’s comments incredibly hurtful — I want you to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company,” Ek said. “I know this situation leaves many of you feeling drained, frustrated, and unheard.”
A video of Rogan using the N-word was published on social media channels on Friday.
Rogan called the video “horrible” in an Instagram post on Saturday and claimed it was the “most regretful and shameful thing” he’d ever had to talk about in public. in an Instagram post on Saturday.
He explained that the movie is made up of excerpts “taken out of context” from his podcast chats over the past 12 years.
“It looks f—— horrible, even to me,” Rogan said. “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. I agree with that now. I haven’t said it in years.”
He claimed that he used to say the word instead of the N-word for a long time.
“I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing,” Rogan said.
Hundreds of Rogan’s podcast episodes have been deleted from Spotify in recent days, but Ek says the site has no intentions to remove Rogan.
“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more,” Ek said.
“And I want to make one point very clear — I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope.”
Spotify would instead spend $100 million on licensing, developing, and marketing music and audio material from historically excluded communities, according to Ek.
Rogan, who famously shared a joint with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2018, has also been accused of constantly propagating conspiracy theories regarding Covid-19 by medical specialists. Spotify has also been chastised for offering episodes on its platform. It reportedly paid more than $100 million for the exclusive streaming rights to “The Joe Rogan Experience” in 2019.
In a signed open letter to the video streaming firm Netflix past month, 270 medical professionals urged the firm to initiate measures against Rogan’s podcast and accused the video streaming firm of disseminating misinformation.
Spotify was recently shunned by musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell for continuing to air Rogan’s show.
Rogan said last week in a separate apology that “I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial. I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.”
Last Thursday, Ek expressed his satisfaction with the company’s response to the mounting scandal surrounding Covid misinformation on the site.
(Adapted from Barrons.com)