New York (CNN Business)If Joe Rogan wasn’t already a household name earlier final week, he almost certainly is at present.
His Spotify-based podcast’s Covid commentary created a backlash that led several musicians and customers to boycott the platform.
So, who is Rogan?
He’s someone who requires a lot of slashes: Comedian/commentator/podcast host/media personality.
Rogan, whose website describes him as “mixed martial arts fanatic” and “psychedelic adventurer” among other things, was a regular colour commentator for the MMA promoter Ultimate Fighting Title in the early 2000s. He gained national attending effectually the same time equally the host of NBC’southward “Fear Cistron” reality series.
To call Rogan polarizing would be an understatement. To his fans, he’south a assuming and curious heed at piece of work, using his podcast to investigate and drag ideas considered controversial or fringe by the mainstream.
To his critics, he’s a reckless peddler of dangerous conspiracy theories, haplessly giving oxygen to radical ideas.
Hither are some key things to know about him, and why he and
accept plant themselves nether intensifying scrutiny.
‘The Joe Rogan Feel’
Rogan hosts “The Joe Rogan Feel” podcast, where he interviews a wide range of guests, such as comedians, scientists and business organization leaders.
Rogan built his brand on his willingness to interview people who’d been kicked off other social media, such every bit the far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The show has built an avid fan base, along with legions of detractors, since information technology launched in 2009.
In 2018, the podcast famously (or notoriously) fabricated headlines when Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared, sipping whiskey and smoking weed with Rogan for a bizarre, 2.5-hour live interview.
In 2020, Spotify struck a reported $100 1000000 deal to secure exclusive licensing rights to Rogan’southward testify — i of the largest acquisitions ever in the podcasting space.
More than recently, Rogan has been nether fire for his skepticism around Covid-19 and the public wellness protocols in place to fight it.
In December, Rogan hosted Robert Malone, a doctor who was suspended from Twitter for spreading Covid misinformation. During the prove, Malone made several baseless claims, including that Covid vaccines can put people who’ve had the virus at higher risk. He besides espoused an unfounded theory known every bit “mass formation psychosis,” which suggests that much of the population has been hypnotized to follow Covid protocols. Multiple psychologists told the Associated Press the theory is no support for the psychosis theory.
Rogan has besides endorsed using ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medicine, equally a treatment for Covid, despite repeated warnings from US wellness officials. (When unvaccinated quarterback Aaron Rodgers contracted Covid, he said he consulted with Rogan on using the drug.)
Rogan has said he’south not anti-vaccine, only that he believes (against an overwhelming scientific evidence to the reverse) that younger people who exercise and eat healthy don’t need to get vaccinated and have niggling to worry nigh if they become infected with Covid.
Those views prompted a backfire from a group of doctors, professors and scientists that penned an open letter to Spotify, asking the platform to rein in misinformation.
Backlash from artists
Terminal week, Neil Young, an outspoken advocate for Covid-19 safety and prevention, said he wanted Spotify to remove his unabridged catalog because he doesn’t want his music to share a abode with vaccine misinformation.
“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” Immature said.
Joni Mitchell before long followed suit, along with a smattering of other artists and podcasters. The hashtag #DeleteSpotify began trending on Twitter belatedly final week, and Apple Music jumped on the moment, tweeting that it was at present “the domicile of Neil Young.”
Spotify finally responded to the backlash on Sunday, though without addressing the Rogan outcome directly. In a weblog mail, the visitor said it would add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes discussion well-nigh Covid-19, and direct listeners to trusted sources.
Rogan, for his part, released a ix-minute video to try to clarify his motivations and defend his invitee selections.
“I’k not trying to promote misinformation … I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations,” he said. “If I’ve pissed you off, I’thou sorry.”
Meanwhile on Monday, Rogan faced more even criticism — this fourth dimension from climate scientists — subsequently releasing his interview with the polarizing Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, who made false and generalized claims that the modeling scientists use to project climate change and its impacts are flawed.
“Such seemingly comic nihilism would be funny if it weren’t so unsafe,” Michael East. Isle of mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, told CNN.
Spotify declined to comment on the climate criticism. CNN has reached out to “The Joe Rogan Feel” for annotate.
—CNN’southward Angela Dewan contributed to this commodity.