The latest round of controversy surrounding Joe Rogan just won’t go away – possibly due to corporate interest of big money. But Spotify is caught in a tail spin of reactions.
Once the Covid 19 misinformation campaign was adequately addressed by Rogan – and remedied via policy by spotify the public attention quickly shifted to another matter.
Rogan’s racial insensitivity. To think Rogan is actually racist is very hard if you’ve ever actually listened to his show – but in out of context snippets it sure makes a compelling clip. This clip even made Rogan issue a second statement denouncing previous use of racial slurs and address one other instance of racial insensitivity.
But Spotify here failed to get behind their main cash cow – instead the CEO Daniel Ek issued a statement condemning Rogan’s mega compilation while maintaining his dedication to free speech. Mind you, it was spotify that purged the JRE catalogue of his sexually inappropriate friends when he transitioned but didn’t think to censor these alleged racial red flags.
“Not only are some of Joe Rogan’s comments incredibly hurtful, I want to make clear that they do not represent the value of this company. While I strongly condemn what Joe has said, I realize that some will want more,” he said.
“I want to make one point very clear. I do not believe silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope.”
Now Spotify sent a company memo – pledging to invest $100 million in the licensing, development and marketing of music and audio content from historically marginalized groups. Memo was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter and details:
“If we believe in having an open platform as a core value of the company, then we must also believe in elevating all types of creators, including those from underrepresented communities and a diversity of backgrounds. We’ve been doing a great deal of work in this area already but I think we can do even more. So I am committing to an incremental investment of $100 million for the licensing, development, and marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from historically marginalized groups. This will dramatically increase our efforts in these areas. While some might want us to pursue a different path, I believe that more speech on more issues can be highly effective in improving the status quo and enhancing the conversation altogether..”