The Joe Rogan Experience is believed to be the number one podcast in the world, especially since Rogan signed an exclusive contract with Spotify. Allegedly, this enabled him to earn around $800,000 for every episode.
However, this means that Rogan has to learn how to play by the rules and refrain from controversial guests and statements which isn’t going well. Over the course of the last six months, Spotify deleted a total of 42 episodes.
While Spotify provided no explanation for this decision, many guess the reason was avoiding backlash for Rogan’s guests, many of which advocate far-right ideas and find themselves involved in various scandals and legal issues.
An example is one of the recently deleted episodes where Rogan hosted Milo Yiannopoulos. Apart from being a far-right advocate, Yiannopoulous has a reputation for making racist and homophobic comments.
Some other deleted episodes featured people like Chris D’Elia, who faced sexual misconduct accusations from underage girls, and Gavin McInnes, the founder of Proud Boys—an exclusively male, neo-fascist organization.
Considering these examples, the pattern and the reasons behind Spotify’s decision seem to be obvious. Still, Rogan himself has a history of transphobic and questionable comments which were subjected to public scrutiny. He manages to be number one in the podcasting world despite it, keeping caffeine lovers up and listening to his podcast regularly.
Fans of the Joe Rogan Experience frequently raise the issue of free speech and censorship, claiming that Spotify is directing the content and trying to tell Rogan what to do. Rogan himself denied these claims in one of his episodes, claiming that no one is telling him what he can and can’t do.