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Another day, another artist threatening to pull their music from Spotify because of Joe Rogan. Only this time the artist is India Arie, who is slightly more contemporary than Neil Young or Joni Mitchell. Plus, she’s not upset about COVID-19 “misinformation.” Rather, Arie took issue with comments Rogan had on race.
“I have decided to pull my music and podcast from Spotify,” the singer shared in an Instagram post Tuesday. “Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through. I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews…”
Arie went on to explain how she was offended by the way Rogan spoke about race during the episode he hosted with guest Dr. Jordan Peterson. She also alluded to being indignant at the pay structure for musical artists versus podcast creators.
“What I am talking about is RESPECT. Who gets it and who doesn’t,” the “Magic” singer continued. “Paying musicians a fraction of a penny and [Rogan] $100M? This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep. I’m tired.”
Rogan brought up race in an episode of his podcast last week. The JRE host said it was strange to call someone black or white based on skin tone, especially with a “spectrum of shades of people.”
“Unless you’re talking to someone who is like 100% African, from the darkest place, where they’re not wearing any clothes all day, and they’ve developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun, you know, even the term ‘Black’ is weird,” Rogan said on the podcast.
Spotify vowed to publish “long-standing platform rules” in response to the criticism and is planning to “add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.” However, they did not indicate that Rogan was in jeopardy of losing his show.
Rogan also shared a lengthy response to the matter over the weekend, saying he is committed to presenting both sides of any argument in an attempt to learn about controversial topics rather than just catering to one side or the other.
The podcast host defended his show saying, “Do I get things wrong? Absolutely. I get things wrong, but I try to correct them. Whenever I get something wrong. I try to correct it because I’m interested in telling the truth. I’m interested in finding out what the truth is. And I’m interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions. I’m not interested in only talking to people that have one perspective.”
Most musicians who committed to removing their music so far, including Young, Mitchell, and Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils Lofgren, have all been upset about COVID issues specifically and Rogan’s willingness to host those of differing opinions. Arie was the first artist to cite other podcast episodes as “problematic.”
She likely won’t be the last. Now that Rogan is being openly criticized, more artists are becoming emboldened to speak out against the popular podcaster for promoting opinions that vary from the mainstream. An apology has never stopped the mob before.