Joe Rogan Draws Backlash For Antisemitic Comments—Spotify Silent On Latest Controversy From Its Biggest Podcaster

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Joe Rogan, the host of Spotify’s biggest podcast, drew a backlash over anti-Semitic remarks this week – the latest in his history of using his massive platform to make controversial comments that have ranged from Covid-19 misinformation and racial slurs .

Important facts

A Spotify podcast exclusive, The Joe Rogan Experience has been the streaming platform’s most-watched podcast of the year since 2021 (it signed a reportedly massive $200 million licensing deal with Rogan the year before).

He drew criticism this week after saying on Saturday’s episode of his podcast, “The idea that Jewish people aren’t into money is ridiculous.”

Rogan made the remark while defending Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who was removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week over tweets she made in 2019 that were criticized for a similar anti-Semitic trope — she tweeted the United States’ relationship with Israel is all about the Benjamins.

On his podcast, Rogan said Omar shouldn’t have apologized for the remark and claimed her tweet wasn’t anti-Semitic, adding, “It’s like saying Italians don’t like pizza.”

Rogan made the remark while speaking with Gast Krystal Ball, a former MSNBC employee, who said Omar could have worded her tweet differently but agreed that she shouldn’t have apologized.

Rogan’s comments sparked outrage on Twitter – Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) wrote The idea that “the interest in money is specifically Jewish is anti-Semitic garbage that should never be fed to an audience of millions.”

Some users accessed Twitter Criticism of Spotifywith whom Rogan struck a $200 million deal for the exclusive rights to his podcast for bringing it to the platform.

key background

Rogan is no stranger to sparking online outrage for making offensive comments and spreading misinformation on his podcast. It has hosted a number of controversial figures including members of the former Proud Boys beard Editor Milo Yiannopoulos and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Spotify has removed episodes featuring some of its most controversial guests from the platform. Rogan drew backlash for opposing widely accepted medical advice related to Covid-19 on his show, urging young healthy people not to get vaccinated in April 2021, prompting a rebuke from Anthony Fauci led. Rogan and his guests, including well-known anti-vaccinationist Dr. Robert Malone, have launched a number of debunked conspiracy theories, including claims that Covid-19 changes your genes, getting vaccinated after you have Covid-19, putting you at greater risk of side effects, and so on. The vaccine poses greater health risks than the Disease itself – none of these are true. Rogan has also come under fire for racist remarks; A video of him using the N-word 24 times over 12 years on his podcast surfaced on social media in February 2022, prompting him to apologize for his “regrettable and shameful” past.

Spotify protests

Outrage over Rogan’s advocacy of misinformation has led to criticism of Spotify for giving him a huge platform and paying him a fortune. Artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell removed their music from Spotify in early 2022 in protest at Rogan’s presence on the streaming service. Young wrote an open letter to Spotify asking them to choose between him and Rogan, but Spotify didn’t budge. Podcasters like Roxane Gay and Mary L. Trump have removed their shows from Spotify in protest. An open letter signed by more than 1,300 doctors and health professionals blasted Rogan for spreading misinformation about Covid-19 and hosting guests like Malone who championed conspiracy theories. The letter urged Spotify to stop spreading conspiracy theories.

Answer from Spotify

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek apologized to employees for how the controversy has affected them after Rogan’s repeated use of the N-word came to light, although he reiterated that the platform has no plans for Rogan to fall let, and claimed he “don’t think silencing Joe is the answer” and “suppressing voices is a slippery slope.” Spotify also announced plans to flag podcasts that discuss Covid-19 and a set of content guidelines in response to the controversy surrounding Rogan’s vaccine misinformation. Spotify did not respond to a forbes Request for comment on Rogan’s recent use of anti-Semitic language.


Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, a past Rogan guest, urged Rogan to host controversial media personality and self-proclaimed misogynist Andrew Tate on his podcast in December 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported, though Rogan responded that he was overbooking at the time was. Tate, another media figure with a long history of making controversial and offensive statements, has been arrested in Romania on human trafficking charges.

Further reading

Joe Rogan faces anti-Semitism accusations after saying it’s ‘stupid’ to say ‘Jews don’t go for money’ (Insider)

How do you solve a problem like Joe Rogan? (Voice)

‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ was Spotify’s top podcast – despite protests over his being on the platform (forbes)

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