Joe Rogan has threatened to stop producing podcasts if he has to walk on eggshells, but I’m pretty sure no one is making him do that?
Joe Rogan is once again in the news, but it’s not for something too controversial this time. If you’ve never heard of Joe Rogan (where have you been?), he is a social commentator and host of the single largest podcast on Spotify, The Joe Rogan Experience.
On his podcast, Rogan invites guests to discuss a huge range of topics varying from comedy to DMT and as wild as the subject matter can be, it’s his perspectives on these topics that can get him into hot water.
During an episode with MMA fighter Josh Barnett, Rogan opened up a conversation about the podcast industry, his involvement in it, and his ties to Spotify.
Rogan said: “That’s if I become something different because it grew bigger. I’ll quit. If it gets to a point where I can’t do it anymore…I have to do it in some sort of weird way where, you know, I walk on eggshells and mind my Ps and Qs – fuck that.”
He finished the statement: “If I become something different because it grew bigger, I’ll quit,“.
This is a huge statement to make and would mean terminating a $200 million deal for a three and a half year platform exclusive contract with Spotify.
Even though it seems like Rogan can still very well be his usual, contrarian self since the Spotify deal, the platform has enacted its own form of censorship upon the podcaster.
In February, Spotify started to remove some of the show’s more controversial episodes retroactively, 113 episodes to be exact.
The removal was sparked by a number of other celebrities that also host their content on Spotify complaining about how the podcast is used to spread misinformation about COVID vaccines. This includes Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and David Crosby.
The boycott by artists is not an isolated incident; the trending hashtag #CancelSpotify saw it lose $4 billion in market value. The boycott stemmed from many voicing their concerns around Rogan concerning misinformation as well as racist comments, which he later apologised for.
Though Rogan pulls in over 11 million listeners a month, he isn’t a journalist and I think Spotify knows that. Joe Rogan is an ex-martial arts commentator and TV host who has at times also been considered a comedian. As is the same for most other podcasters, people shouldn’t be taking his word as gospel.