As the drama surrounding Joe Rogan and Spotify continues, rocker Neil Young is now urging Spotify employees to quit their jobs, and former President Donald Trump is offering advice to Rogan.
In a new statement on his personal site on Monday, Young wrote: “To the workers at Spotify, I say Daniel Ek is your problem — not Joe Rogan. Ek pulls the strings. Get out of the place before it eats up your soul. The goals stated by Ek are about numbers — not art, not creativity.”
Young’s latest remarks come just weeks after he removed his discography from the streaming service in protest of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, where he said Rogan has been spreading misinformation about COVID. Ek, Spotify’s CEO, sent a letter to employees Sunday, apologizing for the controversy regarding Rogan. He also addressed Rogan’s past use of the N-word on previous podcast episodes—which have since been removed from the platform—but said that silencing him is not the answer.
Rogan addressed the viral video via Instagram and apologized for his use of the racial slur, which he called “regretful and shameful.”
Also in his statement, Young encouraged musicians and other creators to “find a better place than Spotify to be the home” of their art. Young, a polio survivor and long proponent of vaccinations, has already inspired a handful of notable musicians to cut ties with Spotify including his lifelong friend Joni Mitchell, India.Arie, and Nils Lofgren. Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, and author Roxane Gay have also removed their podcasts from the platform.
On Monday, Donald Trump jumped into the debate, calling for Rogan to “stop apologizing” to his critics.
“Joe Rogan is an interesting and popular guy, but he’s got to stop apologizing to the Fake News and Radical Left maniacs and lunatics,” Trump said in a statement dated Feb. 7 and posted to Twitter early Tuesday by spokeswoman Liz Harrington.
“How many ways can you say you’re sorry? Joe, just go about what you do so well and don’t let them make you look weak and frightened,” he said. “That’s not you and it never will be!”
Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., showed his support for Rogan a day earlier.
“If they can cancel @joerogan they can cancel anyone… and that’s always been the point. You must all submit and obey,” Trump Jr. tweeted Monday morning. He later added, “Stand with @joerogan or it will only be a matter of time before they [sic] leftist elite come for you or your loved ones for not complying with their desires.”
Meanwhile, on the Tuesday episode of his podcast, Rogan called his recent controversies a “political hit job,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“In a lot of ways, this is a relief,” Rogan said during the episode with guest comedian Akaash Singh. “That video [of Rogan saying the n-word in his podcast over the years] had always been out there. This is a political hit job. They’re taking all this stuff I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together. It’s good because it makes me address some stuff that I really wish wasn’t out there.”
Rogan also pushed back against criticisms from folks like Trump regarding his recent apology video. “You should apologize if you regret something. I do think you have to be careful not to apologize for nonsense,” Rogan said.
Signh agreed, “Real life is people who know you and you’re a great guy … On a podcast where you’re talking for hours on end, I have said shit about every demographic of human beings possible and I regret every one that was, like … not funny … the punishment is, everybody hears it and I’m an asshole. But I can’t stop shooting, I can’t stop swinging.”
“Over time, people will understand you,” Rogan responded. “They know you. If you misstep, they know what you’re trying to do – you’re not a vicious person, you’re just trying to be funny.”
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