Joe Rogan Addresses Ongoing Spotify Protests Over Pandemic Misinformation

Joe Rogan shared a lengthy video late Sunday night addressing the ongoing controversy, which has persisted following Neil Young's move to pull music.

Joe Rogan is seen holding a microphone

Image via Getty/Michael Schwartz/WireImage

Joe Rogan is seen holding a microphone

Joe Rogan has addressed the ongoing pushback facing Spotify in connection with episodes of his podcast that have been called out for platforming pandemic-related misinformation.

In a nearly 10-minute video shared to Instagram, the comedian and UFC commentator argued that “a lot of people” have what he says is a “distorted perception” of the podcast’s intentions. “The podcast has been caused of spreading dangerous misinformation, specifically about two episodes,” Rogan said.

Rogan then defended those particular episodes, as well as guests Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone, arguing that they are “high credentialed” people. This led into more from Rogan on why he, in his words, he has a “problem” with the use of the long-in-existence word misinformation.

“The problem I have with the term misinformation, especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact,” Rogan, whose Spotify deal has been reported to be worth more than $100 million, said.

From there, Rogan detailed how he sees his role as a podcast host with a large amount of listeners—“I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist”—and also expressed agreement with the recent announcement that Spotify would start applying disclaimers to certain content.

Rogan also mentioned Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, who have taken a stand against COVID-19 misinformation by pulling music from Spotify, and detailed what he said is his “pledge” to listeners moving forward.

“My pledge to you is that I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view,” Rogan said around the 8:20 mark in the video below.

Amid coverage of Young’s initial protest, a growing number of artists have also reminded their fans of what they argue are inherent issues with Spotify that long precede the pandemic, with streaming royalty payouts chief among them. Last year, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) made headlines for a series of protests that took place at multiple Spotify offices, including in Los Angeles.

Here's what we're asking for: Pay us at least one cent per stream. Adopt a user-centric payment model. Make all closed-door contracts public. Reveal existing payola, then end it altogether. Credit all labor in recordings. End legal battles intended to further impoverish artists.

— United Musicians and Allied Workers (@UMAW_) January 30, 2022

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