Over 70 'Joe Rogan Experience' Episodes Quietly Removed From Spotify In 24 Hours

Old episodes are vanishing and Spotify hasn't said a word.

On Friday, more than 70 episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience” disappeared from Spotify amid the ongoing controversy over the streamer’s cozy deal with the podcaster.

Some 113 episodes of Rogan’s show have now been removed from Spotify, which is the podcast’s exclusive host, according to data from a website that tracks deleted episodes. (It’s unclear when the approximately 40 other episodes were removed.) That’s just a fraction of the show’s total number of episodes, which stands at around 1,700.

The guests on the episodes taken down on Friday include multiple comedians (like Iliza Shlesinger and Tom Segura), fellow celebrity podcaster Marc Maron and Vice Media CEO Shane Smith. The previously removed episodes include interviews with far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and white nationalist Stefan Molyneux.

Spotify has been mum on the move, which comes after the company’s leaders spent days supporting the podcast host against an onslaught of criticism from angry artists and subscribers.

Rogan has used his massive platform ― his podcast is one of the world’s most popular ― to broadcast misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to showcase the racist and sexist views of some of his guests. He was prompted to issue an apology on Saturday after a viral video compilation showed him using the N-word on his show an alarming number of times over the years.

Criticism of Rogan has been building during the pandemic, due in large part to the whopping $100 million deal he signed with Spotify in 2020 to move all of his episodes to the service. The effect has been to elevate Rogan’s content and, critics say, help legitimize the sometimes harmful views aired on the show.

In recent weeks, musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have opted to pull their catalogs from Spotify in protest, while a group of 270 doctors and scientists sent an open letter to the company slamming Rogan and the streaming platform. Another Spotify-only podcast, “Science Vs,” said it would pivot to producing episodes exclusively fact-checking Rogan and his guests until the company did more to address the issue of misinformation on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

In response to the controversy, Spotify announced late last month that it would add a content warning to any podcast episode dealing with COVID-19, and direct listeners to an information hub. It also published to its website the guidelines that staffers follow to determine whether content should be taken down.

Spotify’s co-founder and CEO, Daniel Ek, said Wednesday that the issue was “complicated” and he was “really proud of the steps we took following the concerns raised by the medical and scientific communities.” During an internal company town hall meeting, Ek reportedly fielded questions from skeptical employees over the situation, saying that “exclusivity does not equal endorsement,” according to The Verge.

Representatives for Rogan did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.


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