Joe Rogan Responds to COVID “Misinformation” Backlash on Spotify

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Joe Rogan has issued a response to the ongoing Spotify backlash nearly a week after Neil Young pulled his catalog of music from the streaming service over what the artist claimed was a sharing of “misinformation” of COVID-19 by the podcast host.

In a nearly ten-minute video posted to Instagram, Rogan, who hosts the most listened to Spotify podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, defended his decision to book controversial guests, apologized to Spotify for the backlash, then shared details on how the podcast may change moving ahead.

“These podcasts are very strange because they’re just conversations,” said Rogan. “And oftentimes I have no idea what I’m going to talk about until I sit down and talk to people, and that’s why some of my ideas are not that prepared or fleshed out because I’m literally having them in real-time, but I do my best and they’re just conversations, and I think that’s also the appeal of the show.”

Rogan added, “It’s one of the things that makes it interesting. So I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time, and I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much from it.”

Rogan also referred to the two podcast guests centered around the recent controversy, including  Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone. Both guests made unsubstantiated claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the fact-checking organization Science Feedback

The Joe Rogan Experience recently came under question when a group of health professionals urged Spotify to take action against the host, who they said has a “concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In his statement, Rogan said that his guests are “highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished people, and they have an opinion that is different from the mainstream narrative. I wanted to hear what their opinion is.”

After contracting COVID-19 in Sept. 2021, Rogan praised the drug Ivermectin, a deworming veterinary drug for cows and horses, and said he was using the drug, which was not approved by the FDA for human consumption, to treat the virus. The Food and Drug administration is urged people to stop ingesting the animal version of the drug to fight COVID-19, warning it can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, neurologic disorders, and potentially severe hepatitis requiring hospitalization.

Rogan’s response comes days after Young removed his entire catalog of music from Spotify and moved over to SiriusXM with longtime friend and folk legend Joni Mitchell following suit, along with E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren, who also pledged to remove his music from the streaming platform.

In response to the backlash, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek responded to the issued and released a set of rules for creators on the streaming platform, along with their plan to tackle misinformation, including ‘content advisories” moving forward.

Rogan added that he agreed with the decision to add disclaimers to the beginning of certain podcasts, and isn’t “mad” at artists like Young and Mitchell wanting to remove their music from Spotify. He went on to say that he’s a Neil Young fan and even worked as a bodyguard at one of his concerts once.

“If there’s anything that I’ve done that I could do better, it’s having more experts with differing opinions right after I have the controversial ones,” said Rogan. “I would most certainly be open to doing that. And I would like to talk to some people who have differing opinions on the podcasts in the future. We’ll see. I do all the scheduling myself and I don’t always get it right.”

Photo: Courtesy of Spotify

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