Employees at Spotify are reportedly so angry that the music streaming service has not censored “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast that they are threatening to go on strike.
Spotify staffers are threatening to go on a “full-blown strike” if the company doesn’t suppress certain “JRE” episodes and topics, according to Digital Music News. These employees are demanding “demanding direct editorial oversight” over Rogan’s podcast, including the ability to directly edit or remove sections of upcoming interviews, or block the uploading of episodes deemed problematic. In addition, the staffers want to be able to put in trigger warnings, corrections, and references to fact-checked articles on topics that Rogan talks about on his show.
According to the report, there are already “preliminary plans” for a work strike that “would principally involve New York-based Spotify employees, and would be accompanied by protests outside Spotify’s Manhattan headquarters.”
This comes after Spotify announced back in May that it had signed Rogan to a “multi-year exclusive licensing deal” that is reportedly worth more than $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“It will remain free, and it will be the exact same show,” Rogan said as he announced the deal on Instagram. “It’s just a licensing deal, so Spotify won’t have any creative control over the show.”
“They want me to just continue doing it the way I’m doing it right now,” he added. “I’m excited to have the support of the largest audio platform in the world and I hope you folks are there when we make the switch!”
Since launching his podcast back in 2009, Rogan has become known and beloved by his fans for being brave enough to address controversial subjects and people that most are afraid to delve into. When the first episode of his show premiered on Spotify earlier this month, fans were furious to find that controversial interviews with people like Alex Jones, Gavin McInnes, Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles C. Johnson, Owen Benjamin, and Carl Benjamin were not included in the library, Variety reported.
Two weeks ago, Spotify held a company-wide meeting in which Spotify CEO Daniel Ek addressed concerns about alleged “transphobic content” that was on multiple “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcasts, according to Motherboard.
“Some staff inside the company feel alienated by Spotify’s hosting of certain ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ (JRE) episodes, according to copies of some of the questions presented to the meeting obtained by Motherboard,” the report said.
“In the case of Joe Rogan, a total of 10 meetings have been held with various groups and individuals to hear their respective concerns,” Ek explained during the meeting. “And some of them want Rogan removed because of things he’s said in the past.”
“Others have concerns specifically over a recent episode,” Ek allegedly added. “And Joe Rogan and the episode in question have been reviewed extensively. The fact that we aren’t changing our position doesn’t mean we aren’t listening. It just means we made a different judgment call.”
Last week, Rogan gave a rare apology for comments he recently made claiming that leftwing rioters set fires in Oregon.
“I f***ed up on the podcast with Douglas Murray and said that people got arrested lighting fires in Portland,” Rogan wrote on Twitter. “That turns out to not be true. I was very irresponsible not looking into it before I repeated it.”
“I read one story about a guy getting arrested for lighting fires,” he added. “Turned out to be true, but the other s*** I read about people getting arrested for lighting fires in Portland was not true. I repeated it without looking into it and it was a really f***ing stupid mistake that won’t happen again. I’m sorry.”