After onboarding popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience in an exclusive streaming deal late last year, Spotify has deleted 42 episodes containing controversial content. Insider sources tell Digital Music News that another 15-20 episodes are earmarked for possible removal after a pause taken to quell the backlash for the first round of deletions.
Episodes that were previously removed include interviews with far-right leaders such as former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, reports The Huffington Post, as well as four episodes with comedian Chris D’Elia, who was accused last year of soliciting child pornography and pursuing underage girls sexually. DMN also reported that three episodes with Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey were deleted amid widespread backlash for his high-fat diet, which has been criticized as not being backed by science. Interviews with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars were also not transferred over to Spotify, and the streamer previously deleted his episodes from the platform back in 2018. Despite that, Rogan hosted Jones on his show in October 2020, about a month after transferring his show to Spotify.
When Rogan signed the $100 million deal to move his podcast from YouTube to Spotify, he made comments about some of the episodes he had previously recorded not being brought on board, saying, "There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, and I was like ‘OK, I don’t care,’” Rogan said, as per DMN. The former Fear Factor host has previously garnered controversy himself, speaking against the transgender community, saying he wouldn't get the COVID-19 vaccine and accusing "left-wing people" of starting the devastating Oregon wildfires, for which he would later apologize.
"I’m talking off the top of my head. And a lot of times I’m saying s— that I don’t even mean," Rogan said back in October, per DMN. "I’m saying it because this is a f—ing podcast. And if you have a problem with people saying terrible s— and you work for Spotify, maybe you should listen to some of the lyrics. Okay, because some of the lyrics and some of the f—ing music that you guys play over and over and over again makes my s— pale in comparison." He continued, "But I get it, you’re a 23-year-old woke kid and you’re working for this company and you think you’re gonna put your foot down, I get it."