Spotify Denounced Joe Rogan’s Use of the ‘N-Word’ but Will Not Censor Him

The comedian Joe Rogan. Image: Michael Schwartz/WireImag.

The executives at Spotify have denounced Joe Rogan’s use of the “N-word” and his conspiracy theories regarding COVID-19 but his content will remain on the streaming platform, CNN reports.

In a staff memo released on Sunday, Daniel Ek, the chief executive of Spotify, addressed Rogan’s long history of using racial slurs saying that while he found the remarks “incredibly hurtful” and antithetical to company values, he did not believe “silencing” the comedian was the way to move forward.

“I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer,” Ek said. “We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope.”

Recently, Rogan’s comments on race and Covid-19 have come under fire prompting many recording artists and podcasters to remove their content from the platform including India Arie.

In response to the controversy,  Rogan pledged to do better when discussing his views about COVID-19 vaccines and he apologized Saturday morning after a video compilation of him using the N-word went viral on social media.

Ek noted that Rogan’s comments “do not represent the values of this company” and that Spotify had engaged in “conversations with Joe and his team about some of the content in his show, including his history of using some racially insensitive language.” Also, he said that Spotify would be committing “an incremental investment of $100 million for the licensing, development, and marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from historically marginalized groups.”

“Following these discussions and his own reflections, he chose to remove a number of episodes from Spotify,” he said.

Since the controversy first began, over 100 episodes of the podcast have been erased from Rogan’s library, according to JRE Missing, a website that tracks the show.

Ek apologized to staff for how the controversy “continues to impact” each of them.

“I deeply regret that you are carrying so much of this burden,” he added. “I also want to be transparent in setting the expectation that in order to achieve our goal of becoming the global audio platform, these kinds of disputes will be inevitable.”

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