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Joe Rogan Responds To Spotify Employee-Strike Threat

Poll finds majority would watch presidential debate moderated by the comedian

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October 13, 2020

Joe Rogan addressed the issue of Spotify employees who are threatening to strike if they aren’t given editorial control over his podcast. 

READ MORE: Spotify employees threaten to strike unless Joe Rogan is censored

In response to a question about it from podcast guest Tim Dillon, Rogan said that Spotify executives haven’t said anything to him about the situation. (“The Joe Rogan Experience” episode #1544 released Oct. 1). 

“They have literally said nothing to me about it. Zero. It’s never come up. Now, is there someone at Spotify that’s complaining about the Abigail Shrier episode? I’m sure. I’m sure there’s someone that’s complaining about it. Is it a transphobic episode? It’s not. They’re wrong.” 

Rogan previously spoke with author Abigail Shrier about her book “Irreversible Damage” on his podcast in July (JRE episode #1509), a conversation that many on the Left criticized as transphobic. Rogan has also been criticized for opposing biological males competing in women’s sports.

In his recent conversation with Dillon, Rogan discussed that past conversation, as well as the controversy surrounding Spotify employees threatening to strike unless they get to censor Rogan’s show.

Rogan said he is aware that some people have a problem with the book for being transphobic, but “It’s not transphobic,” Rogan said, repeating the point several times. 

“If you can’t discuss it, we’ve found ourselves in this terrible place where there’s no longer nuance, there’s no longer informed discussion, and you’ve decided that a subject is off bounds,” Rogan said.  

“I don’t know what the actual conversation has been from Spotify talking to these employees. But if these employees are listening, I would tell you emphatically I am not in any way anti-trans. Not in any way. In any way. I am 100 percent for people being able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm other people,” Rogan said. But, “It’s not transphobic to say that some people will regret transitioning,” Rogan said about the book, which he called deeply-researched.  

Rogan said that topic was apparently the main issue that Spotify employees have with the episode. He then pointed out that he’s often talking off the top of his head during the podcast and says stuff that he doesn’t even mean. He also reiterated that he’s a comedian who makes jokes. 

“If you have a problem with people saying terrible shit and you work for Spotify, maybe you should listen to some of the lyrics” of music Spotify plays, Rogan said. 

Rogan also criticized people who take things out of context to try to discredit someone, as they did following his endorsement of Bernie Sanders. “It’s not an honest take,” he said. “It’s a denial of nuance.” 

“I get it, if you’re a 23-year-old woke kid and, you know, you’re working for this company, you think you’re going to put your foot down, I get it.” 

Rogan said he’s seen several articles about how Spotify employees are considering a strike but, “Spotify has said nothing. Listen to me. Nothing. They haven’t said anything to my manager. They haven’t said anything to me. They’ve said nothing.” 

“They’ve apparently had meetings,” Rogan said. But “In terms of them silencing me, zero. There’s been nothing.” 

Later, he tweeted the link to a YouTube video that parodies the employees who are threatening to strike.

The video features comedians posing as Social Justice Woke Warrior Spotify employees, complaining that “the executives at Spotify won’t cater to our demands. It’s almost like they value a $100 million asset more than they value a $49,000 asset!” 

Majority would support seeing Joe Rogan host a presidential debate: 

A recent poll found that a majority of people would watch a debate moderated by Rogan on his podcast, which gets more than 190 million monthly downloads, making it the largest podcast in the world. The poll was conducted after Trump said on Twitter that he would participate in a long-format debate moderated by Rogan.

READ MORE: Trump agrees to debate moderated by Rogan

According to a Hill-HarrisX poll, 69 percent of registered voters said they would watch it. And as of this writing, a petition on Change.org to have Rogan host a presidential debate has been signed by more than 290,000 people. 

Rogan identifies as politically liberal and previously gave a tepid endorsement to Bernie Sanders for president, but he’s known for also holding some conservative views and speaking with guests from across the political spectrum. 

Rogan himself used the term “tepid” to describe the endorsement because it wasn’t an official endorsement; he simply said that he would probably vote for Sanders in response to a question from a guest on his podcast. The Sanders campaign then jumped on that by announcing that Sanders had been endorsed by Rogan, drawing anger from Biden supporters.

READ MORE: Knives come out for Rogan

“I gave this tepid endorsement of him and they used that with all old jokes and shit that I said – “He’s homophobic, transphobic, racist, this that fucking everything – and they took him out. They took him out,” Rogan said. Rogan said that the DNC aligned to get Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar to quit so that Biden would win. “The whole thing was dirty,” Rogan said, adding that the DNC rigged the election against Sanders twice, with the first being in 2016. 

On Friday, the Commission on Presidential Debates officially canceled the upcoming second presidential debate, citing the Trump campaign’s refusal to agree to change the previously agreed upon rules and hold a remote, virtual debate instead of an in-person event.

So maybe there’s still a chance that a Trump-Biden debate moderated by Rogan will happen. 

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