Joe Rogan Says He Will “Try Harder” Following Spotify Controversy
Joe Rogan has pledged to “try harder” amid the ongoing controversy surrounding his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
The 54-year-old podcaster has come under intense fire for hosting interviews that have discouraged young people from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and spread misinformation about the virus. In particular, Rogan has been heavily criticised for featuring discredited scientist Robert Malone, who openly advocates anti-vaccination protests.
Over 260 healthcare professionals and experts subsequently issued an open letter to Spotify – which hosts Rogan’s podcast – accusing the company of providing a platform to “implement a misinformation policy”.
In a show of solidarity, musician Neil Young issued a statement demanding that Spotify removed his music if it continued to host Rogan’s podcast. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” he said.
Backing Rogan, Spotify removed Young’s music from the platform, with fellow artists Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren following suit. Also weighing in on the controversy were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who claimed they had voiced concerns over the spread of misinformation on the platform.
Now, in a video posted to Instagram, Rogan thanked Spotify for its support and promised to “balance things out” in future.
Stating that people had a “distorted perception” of what he did, Rogan defended his recent guests as “highly credentialed” with opinions that are “different from the mainstream narrative”.
“I don’t know what else I can do differently other than maybe try harder to get people with differing opinions on right afterwards,” he went on. “I do think that’s important and do my best to make sure that I’ve researched these topics – the controversial ones in particular”.
“Again, 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 just talk to people and have interesting conversations.”
Rogan’s statement comes after Spotify set out its new plan to tackle misinformation, including publishing its platform rules and providing a content advisory on all podcast episodes discussing COVID.
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