According to a recent report, employees at the music streaming service Spotify have been fighting over the inclusion of certain episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on the platform over claims that they are “transphobic.”
Vice reports that employees at the music streaming service Spotify are upset about the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which is exclusively on Spotify after it signed Joe Rogan to a megadeal, claiming certain episodes and guests are “transphobic.”
CEO Daniel Ek reportedly addressed such concerns in an all-hands meeting on Wednesday in which he stated: “In the case of Joe Rogan, a total of 10 meetings have been held with various groups and individuals to hear their respective concerns.”
Vice News reported that sources shared questions that had been submitted for the Q&A portion of the meeting, they include: “Why has Spotify chosen to ignore Spectrum ERG’s guidance about transphobic content in the JRE catalog?” Another asked: “Many LGBTQAI+/ally Spotifiers feel unwelcome and alienated because of leadership’s response in JRE conversations. What is your message to those employees?”
Breitbart News reported in May that Rogan had signed a deal with Spotify to move his podcast exclusively to the Spotify platform. The podcast debuted on Spotify on September 1 on a non-exclusive basis but will become exclusive to the Spotify platform later in the year under the multiyear licensing deal.
Ek reportedly told employees during the recent all-hands meeting: “Joe Rogan and the episode in question have been reviewed extensively. The fact that we aren’t changing our position doesn’t mean we aren’t listening. It just means we made a different judgment call.”
Ek also instructed employees not to leak conversations to the media — which they promptly did — telling them that if they did so they would be excluded from future content moderation discussions, stating: “If we can’t have open, confidential debates, we will have to move those discussions to closed doors.”
When Rogan’s podcast debuted on Spotify, many noted that certain episodes were missing including those featuring Alex Jones of InfoWars, Gavin McInnes, and the comedian Joey Diaz. At launch, some guests from the missing shows commented that their shows would be added in due course. That has not happened in many cases — the episodes are still missing from Spotify with no explanation from the company or Rogan.
One Twitter user posted a list of episodes that have allegedly been removed from Spotify’s catalog:
— ChⒶnce (@Chanceb4rapper) September 18, 2020
Many have jumped to Rogan’s defense, insisting that Spotify include all of Rogan’s content and that implications that he is transphobic are unfounded:
Calling @joerogan transphobic is absurd. @Spotify if you censor JRE in hopes of pacifying the woke mob, you don't understand the value of nuanced conversation. Podcasting is about respecting the intelligence of listeners. Reason and love is the way forward, not censorship.
— Lex Fridman (@lexfridman) September 18, 2020
.@joerogan's show is one of the last forums for free discussion, and now the woke employees of Spotify are trying to destroy it.
— Abigail Shrier (@AbigailShrier) September 17, 2020
Breitbart News will continue to follow this story as more information is available.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org