Joe Rogan has come a long way since he began hosting Fear Factor in 2001. At the time, he was a little known stand-up comic and TV actor who got a break on NBC.
Eight year later, Rogan started podcasting. His show, The Joe Rogan Experience, has become one of the most popular podcasts in the country. It's No. 1 at Spotify and is valued at $100 million.
Rogan, 54, is a Libertarian, and like Bill Maher, has a wide range of controversial opinions on subjects from Covid-19 to cannabis. He's not a Covid denier, but has promoted debunked meds like ivermectin, opposed so-called vaccine passports and featured guest slike Dr. Robert Malone who compared the pandemic to the Holocaust.
Neil Young: "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both."
All of this prompted 270 scientists, physicians, doctors, professors and healthcare workers in January to petititon Spotify to "establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform" regarding "false and societally harmful assertions" on podcasts like Rogen's.
Then Neil Young entered the picture. At 76, Young remains as political as he was when he wrote "Ohio" about the Kent State killings in 1970. The "Southern Man" rocker told Spotify they had to choose between his music or Rogen's podcast. They stuck with Rogen and have since removed all of Young's music from the platform.
"I'm doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines - potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young wrote. "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both." The letter posted at Young's website has been deleted.
Spotify replied: "We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Whose side are you on - Rogan's or Young's?