Spotify has a funny way of showing its corporate love for Joe Rogan.
The audio streamer signed Rogan and his blockbuster podcast to a reported $100 million deal last year. That meant you had to sign up to Spotify to hear the “Fear Factor” alum’s unexpurgated chats with a variety of stars.
- Alex Jones
- Andrew Yang
- Tim Dillon
- Abigail Shrier
Except Spotify is now actively erasing part of Rogan’s podcasting legacy.
Spotify already censored 42 episodes of the “Joe Rogan Experience” in recent weeks. Some featured guests considered “problematic” to the woke crowd, like Alex Jones. Others were excised for no obvious reasons.
Spotify, like most Big Tech companies, offers little transparency in these matters. That likely won’t change.
Now, the news site that originally reported on the 42 memory-holed episodes says Spotify is eager to wipe out even more classic Rogan moments. Digital Music News reports that Spotify is mulling both more cancellations and the poor PR that may follow.
According to the same sources that tipped us off to the earlier deletions, Spotify has earmarked roughly 15-20 additional shows for removal, but has pressed pause on the plan given a spate of negative publicity and “bad optics.”
Yes, despite Big Tech’s growing censorship, including wiping out a documentary about a black legal eagle during Black History Month, some industry types still realize how awful it looks to erase content.
Rogan’s censorship fight, to date, has generated plenty of media attention but little direct outrage. Far-left sites like The Hollywood Reporter and Variety haven’t defended Rogan or his art. And they won’t.
Today’s reporter class is both woke and activist, and they have little interest in defending free speech … unless it’s coming directly from the Left.
Rogan isn’t Left or Right. He’s probably left-leaning on most issues, but his adherence to open debate makes him a target for the modern Left.
They hate free speech. Loathe it, to be more accurate.
Up until now, Rogan has taken a diplomatic approach to the erasures. He said he’s not bothered by Spotify’s actions as long as the shows recorded under his new contract aren’t touched. He hammered home that point by inviting Jones back onto his show late last year. Jones is the poster boy for problematic voices, a conspiracy theorist who even runs afoul of many on the Right.
That move essentially dared Spotify’s woke employees to object. They did, but management had Rogan’s back.
How many classic Rogan episodes will be erased next? Will Rogan stay above the fray, or will he start speaking up on behalf of his past work?
Most importantly, given Cancel Culture’s increasing power, how long with Spotify defend their most famous hire and his ability to speak his mind?