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Spotify Pressure Adds After Joe Rogan Uses Racial Slurs

By Thea Marshall

CHATTANOOGA, TN ( Joe Rogan put Spotify in a tough situation after Anti-coronavirus vaccine comments and racial slurs in his podcast. Now the streaming service has to make difficult decisions.

Spotify must now decide where they stand on these issues because of heightened sensitivity regarding both issues. Rogan’s $100 million dollar podcast raises business questions considering the streaming service’s strategy to be a one stop shop for audio. 

Rogan and Spotify did not speak on Sunday. But according to experts, Spotify will have to decide to break ties with Rogan in order to prevent musicians pulling their work to protest. 

No matter what decision Spotify chooses it won’t sit right with the public.

“If Spotify says ‘We can’t drop him. He has the right to say what he wants,’ that continues on the line where there is this implicit support to say racist things on these platforms,” said Adia Harvey Wingfield, a sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Spotify also has to decide if offensive words are allowed elsewhere on the app, where songs with racist, homophobic and anti-immigrant are available, said John Wihbey, a Northeastern University professor and emerging technologies specialist. 

“There’s some real self-examination to be doing beyond Joe,” Wihbey said. “This is a big moment of reckoning for entertainment and streaming platforms to see where the window is, what’s over the line.”

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