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Spotify removes 70 Joe Rogan episodes as he faces heat over use of n-word


Spotify's Joe Rogan Experience podcast seen on the screen of a smartphone.

Getty Images | Cindy Ord

Spotify on Friday removed 70 Joe Rogan Experience episodes from 2020 and previous years. Meanwhile, Rogan issued an apology after video showed him saying the n-word on various podcast episodes.

The new episode removals weren’t related to the COVID misinformation that led Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and others to ask for their music to be pulled from Spotify, which caused a backlash from angry fans. But it was the second big round of Rogan episode removals since Spotify signed the podcast host.

“Previously, Spotify had pruned 43 ‘JRE’ episodes from the catalog after the company added Rogan’s show in September 2020 under a $100 million exclusive distribution pact. Those included segments with right-wing figures such as Infowars’ Alex Jones, Gavin McInnes and Milo Yiannopoulos and also episodes with comedians,” according to Variety.

The episodes removed Friday “featured guests including podcaster, actor and comedian Marc Maron, LGBTQ activist and author Dan Savage, political commentator Kyle Kulinski, and comedians Bill Burr, Tom Segura, Iliza Shlesinger, Theo Von, Brian Redban, Rich Vos, and Pete Holmes,” Variety wrote.

We contacted Spotify about the episode removals today and will update this article if we get a response. A website called JRE Missing uses the Spotify API to track which Joe Rogan Experience episodes that have been pulled. It says a total of 113 episodes are gone from Spotify, which would include the 70 pulled Friday and the 43 that were previously taken down.

Malone episode still on Spotify

Rogan’s controversial episode featuring Dr. Robert Malone is still on Spotify. Malone “was suspended from Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19” and “used the JRE platform to further promote numerous baseless claims, including several falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and an unfounded theory that societal leaders have ‘hypnotized’ the public,” stated a recent open letter to Spotify signed by hundreds of scientists, professors, doctors, and healthcare workers.

The most recent Rogan episode that was pulled was originally published in April 2020 and features Chris D’elia, who was subsequently accused of sexually harassing underage girls. All previous episodes that were pulled are from February 2019 or earlier.

BBC’s “Reality Check” team last week pointed out several falsehoods from Rogan’s COVID-themed episodes, such as Rogan saying, “This is not a vaccine, this is essentially a gene therapy.”

India Arie calls out Rogan over n-word use

Grammy-winning musician India Arie asked to have her music pulled from Spotify and shared a video of Rogan saying the n-word on his podcast numerous times. “I empathize with the people who are leaving Spotify for the COVID misinformation reasons, and I think that they should,” Arie said. Objecting to Spotify’s lucrative payments to Rogan, she said, “Spotify is built on the back of the music streaming, so they take this money that’s built from streaming and pay this guy $100 million—but they pay us .003 percent of a penny. Just take me off.”

Rogan “shouldn’t even be uttering the word,” Arie also said, according to Deadline. “Don’t even say it, under any context. Don’t say it. That’s where I stand. I have always stood there.”

A February 2019 Twitter thread shows video of Rogan talking about seeing a Planet of the Apes film in a movie theater populated primarily by non-white people. “We walk into Planet of the Apes. We walked into Africa, dude. We walked in the door and there was no white people, there was no white people,” he said.

In another clip, Rogan spoke to a guest who has parents of different skin colors. “Powerful combination, genetic-wise, right?” Rogan said. “You get the body of the black man and then you get the mind of the white man all together in some strange combination… that doesn’t, by the way, mean that black people don’t have brains. It’s a different brain. Don’t get me wrong.”





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