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Spotify CEO Says He Won’t Be ‘Silencing’ Joe Rogan After Video Resurfaces Of Him Using Racist Slurs

Photo: Liv Oeian / Shutterstock.com / YouTube
Daniel Ek and Joe Rogan

Amid an ongoing controversy over accusations of spreading COVID misinformation, Joe Rogan is now facing trouble over his past.

The polarizing podcast host being painted as a racist after a compilation video of him saying racial slurs over the last 12 years has surfaced and been spread across the internet.

In the resurfaced clips, Rogan is seen saying the n-word and making damaging statements about Black people.

In a move to provide some damage control, Spotify has removed over 110 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience and counting. But Spotify insists this isn't for the reasons you might think.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said they will not be ‘silencing’ Joe Rogan and will continue to ‘elevate all types of creators.’

Ek claims that it was Rogan’s choice to remove the episodes in a memo that was sent out to employees and was obtained by Axios.

RELATED: Joe Rogan’s Response To His Misinformation Controversy Shows Just How Unaware He Is Of His Own Influence

In the memo, he apologizes for the recent controversies causing stress to employees but says that they will do better to “elevate” marginalized groups and bring more diversity to the platform while refusing to “silence” Rogan and remove him from the platform entirely.

"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,” he explained.

“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.”

Arguments about the existence of "cancel culture" aside, people are allowed to make mistakes and apologize for them and change to become a better person in the future.

Ek emphasized that Spotify is not the publisher of the JRE, but that they're perceived in that way because of their exclusivity deal — they likely had no idea about these past podcast episodes but expresses that he wants to do better in the future to better this perception.

“I am committing to an incremental investment of $100 million for the licensing, development, and marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from historically marginalized groups,” he continues in his memo.

"The Joe Rogan Experience" has damaged Spotify's market value. 

After the previous controversy surrounding Rogan came to light and an amalgam of doctors united to prevent the spread of COVID misinformation, Spotify has had to make some tough decisions and maneuver through some muddy waters to stop itself from going under.

RELATED: Joe Rogan Admits He's A 'F-ing Moron' — So Why Do His Millions Of Listeners Trust Him?

According to figures from NASDAQ, Spotify lost approximately $4 billion in market value after Neil Young and several others pulled their music from the platform regarding the COVID misinformation controversy.

At the end of it all — or what was thought to be the end — Spotify announced that they would update their COVID information policies, crack down on "The Joe Rogan Experience" by putting disclaimers before controversial guests appeared on the show, and Rogan himself said he would do better to prevent something like that happening in the future.

Spotify spent $100 million on Rogan, so it’s understandable that they would continue to back one of the most popular podcasts in the world which makes them a boatload of money.

Joe Rogan's racist past risks further damaging Spotify's defence of his actions.

As with all things, the issue has been widely politicized. Rogan is typically regarded as conservative based on the guests he has and the views he has himself, so the left has used the clip as fuel for their vitriol and desire to get him banned from the platform.

While the right uses the left's anger as a way to mock them and the "cancel culture" that they love waving around as a comeback.

Rogan himself responded to this new clip, saying that “it looks f---ing horrible. Even to me,” and tries to explain himself and the video in question.

“It’s a video that’s made of clips taken out of context of me of 12 years of conversations on my podcast and it’s all smushed together,” he explains.

The “out of context” bit is important because he defends himself by admitting that he used to do that but doesn’t anymore because he’s realized that it was wrong.

“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 and I agree with that now,” he continued. “I haven’t said it in years.”

He said that he had hoped that when he was saying it in a context that wasn’t racist or discriminating that people would understand the points he was trying to get across, but he has since realized that it wasn’t okay.

While social media warriors continue to battle it out on Twitter and Facebook, Rogan will remain on Spotify with the exclusivity deal and will likely continue with caution to avoid any more controversy.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.