Podcaster Joe Rogan addressed the controversy Spotify became embroiled in when several high profile artists pulled their catalogs from the platform in protest of his show.
The podcast has been accused of spreading dangerous misinformation, specifically two episodes that featured “the most published” cardiologist and one of the creators of MRNA vaccine technology.
“The problem I have with the term misinformation, especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as facts,” Rogan said in an Instagram video on Sunday.
He cited an example of how a post the COVID vaccine allowing the inoculated to catch and spread the virus would have been a bannable offense on Twitter eight months ago, but today it’s accepted as fact.
“If you said I think it’s possible that COVID-19 came from a lab, you’d be banned from many social media platforms, now that’s on the cover of Newsweek,” he remarked. “All of those theories, that were at one point in time banned, were discussed by those two men I had on my podcast, that have been accused of dangerous misinformation.”
Rogan said he didn’t know “if they’re right” because he’s not an expert, just the guy who has conversations with them. He admitted to “absolutely” getting things wrong, but is ultimately most interested in discovering the truth.
He explained that he’s “interested” in having conversations with people who have differing opinions, which is why he has also had CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and other pro-vaccine experts on his show.
Rogan said he was “very sorry” musicians like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Peter Framption and Liza Minelli have yanked their music off of Spotify over his podcast.
In response, the platform announced the rollout of a “new effort to combat misinformation” through content advisories that will link to a fact-based COVID-19 hub. A disclaimer that Rogan thinks is “very important,” and is “happy with” implementing on his show.
Rogan thinks he could avoid controversy by scheduling “better,” and hosting experts with dueling opinions on back-to-back episodes in the future. He admitted that he handles that aspect of the podcast all by himself and doesn’t “always get it right.”
He said the appeal of his show is that it isn’t scripted out, “they’re just conversations,” and he’s “very sorry” this scandal has happened to Spotify, which reportedly lost $2 billion as stocks have cratered as a result.
“I’m not trying to be controversial,” Rogan concluded. “I’m going to do my best in the future to balance things out…If I pissed you off, I’m sorry.”