UFC color commentator Joe Rogan moved his wildly-popular podcast from YouTube to Spotify a few weeks back — after inking a $100 million deal — and well ... let’s just say this relationship has not gotten off to the best start.
Turns out not everyone working for Spotify is a fan of “The Joe Rogan Experience” and some of its controversial content, like the alleged transphobic comments Rogan made while interviewing Abigail Shrier, an outspoken critic of the trans movement.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek reportedly had 10 meetings to address the internal concerns and calls for Rogan’s removal. In addition, the team at Motherboard (via Vice.com) spoke to a handful of Spotify employees in the wake of a recent Town Hall.
One of the submitted questions was “Many LGBTQAI+/ally Spotifiers feel unwelcome and alienated because of leadership’s response in JRE conversations. What is your message to those employees?” Another was “Why has Spotify chosen to ignore Spectrum ERG’s guidance about transphobic content in the JRE catalog?,” referring to a group of Spotify workers who focus on related issues.
At the meeting, Ek also told employees not to leak to the media, noting “If we can’t have open, confidential debates, we will have to move those discussions to closed doors.”
In a statement to Motherboard, Spotify reaffirmed its commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, but indicated that Rogan’s content was not in violation of the community guidelines and therefore, would not be removed from the platform.
Rogan has yet to comment.