The Rock defends Joe Rogan after podcaster speaks out on Spotify controversy

Polarising podcaster Joe Rogan has A-list support in his Spotify battle.

A campaign to have Rogan’s popular podcast, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’, removed from Spotify has dominated headlines. The campaign came about because of the UFC commentator’s stance on young people getting vaccinated against COVID 19.

Additionally, critics say Rogan’s belief in Ivermectin as a treatment against the virus, plus interviews with controversial conspiracy theorists on his podcasts, leads to the spread of misinformation.

Who is trying to remove Joe Rogan?

Multiple high-profile musicians have come out in opposition against Rogan, not wishing to belong to the same streaming platform as him.

Neil Young was the first to weigh in, demanding that Spotify remove either himself or Joe Rogan from the streaming service.

Others followed suit. Joni Mitchell also took her music off Spotify, claiming that lies were being spread that are “costing people their lives”.

James Blunt took to Twitter to make a tongue-in-cheek demand for the streaming giants to remove the JRE podcast. He threatened to release new music if Rogan’s podcast wasn’t taken off.

Health experts have taken a softer stance against Rogan’s podcast, but nonetheless want Spotify to make a change. In an open letter to the streaming giants, 270 scientists and doctors asked Spotify to label Rogan’s show with a misinformation warning.

Spotify’s response on Joe Rogan issue

Rather than removing one of their biggest attractions, Spotify have taken advice from the scientific community.

In a statement released on their website, Chief Executive Daniel Ek said that any podcast that discusses COVID will have a content advisory label.

The content advisory also provides a link to a new ‘COVID 19 Hub’. Here, users can get info provided by Public Health authorities and members of the scientific community.

The Chief executive stated: “it is important to me that we don’t take the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them.”

Joe Rogan’s response to controversy

In a video posted to Instagram, Rogan addressed the controversy.

He started off by suggesting that people may not know what his content is like. “I think there’s a lot of people who have a distorted perception of what I do.”

Additionally, he claimed that his two episodes that have come under most fire have featured widely-respected medical professionals.

“Both these people [doctors] are very highly credentialed, very accomplished people,” he said, “and they have an opinion that is different from the mainstream narrative. I wanted to hear what their opinion is.

“I’m interested in talking to people who have different opinions. I’m interested in finding out how people come to these conclusions and what the facts are.”

However, he appears to be okay with Spotify’s plans for a content advisory label. He expressed his support: “I agree with it… I think it’s very important. Have that on there, I’m happy with that.” Furthermore, he claimed to be a big fan of Neil Young and to have great admiration for Joni Mitchell.

He concluded his response by saying that he will try and include more balanced perceptions of alternative viewpoints. For future podcasts, Rogan may seek to have a variety of experts on.

“I could have more experts, with differing opinions, right after I have the controversial ones. I would most certainly be open to doing that.”

The Rock offers support

Hollywood A-lister Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has showed his support for Rogan. He commented on the UFC commentator’s video, calling his response “perfectly articulated”.

He also heavily suggested making an appearance on JRE, saying that he was “looking forward to coming on one day”.

Why would the Rock want to do this? Johnson may see it as an opportunity to promote his tequila brand, called ‘Teremana.’

In addition, The Rock will want to keep on the good side of the UFC and their star commentator. Johnson’s shoe brand, ‘Project Rock’, penned a multi-year deal with the UFC as the official shoe for fighters.

With UFC CEO Dana White displaying unwavering support for Rogan, it’ll be important to him that The Rock is on their side too.