If the Wokeists at Spotify Are Going to Come for Joe Rogan, They'd Better Not Miss

AP Photo/Gregory Payan

Joe Rogan famously got a $100 million contract with Spotify. The deal was to move the comedian’s wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast exclusively to the platform by the end of the year. Within 23 minutes of the deal announcement, Spotify’s market capitalization increased $1.7 billion.

At the time of the deal, Rogan reported that his long-form interviews with guests from the world of politics, entertainment, sports, and academia received 190 million downloads per month. Today he has 9.64 million subscribers on YouTube. This is a 1.5 million increase since he signed the deal with Spotify.

At the time, Rogan told Forbes that nothing about the show would change:

“It will be the exact same show,” Rogan says. “I am not going to be an employee of Spotify. We’re going to be working with the same crew doing the exact same show.

”The show will continue to be free,” he added.

Well, if some employees at Spotify have their way, Rogan’s podcasts will now be edited or removed due to “offensive” content. Because Wokeists from Wokeistan ruin everything, these activist employees want control over what they see as “problematic” content. Don’t you just hate that word? Translated, it means, “content with which I disagree.” From Digital Music News:

Late last week, we first reported that Spotify employees were demanding direct editorial oversight over the recently-acquired Joe Rogan Experience podcast.  That would include the ability to directly edit or remove sections of upcoming interviews, or block the uploading of episodes deemed problematic. The employees also demanded the ability to add trigger warnings, corrections, and references to fact-checked articles on topics discussed by Rogan in the course of his multi-hour discussions.

Some of the group’s demands have already been met by Spotify management, though a refusal to allow further changes is stirring talk of a high-profile walkout or strike.  According to preliminary plans shared with Digital Music News, the strike would principally involve New York-based Spotify employees, and would be accompanied by protests outside Spotify’s Manhattan headquarters.  Other aspects would involve media appearances and coordination with other activist organizations.

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Spotify’s first mistake was meeting any of these employees’ demands. Management should have simply pointed to the door and explained that employees were free to leave if they could not handle a wildly popular property residing on the platform. I am sure no one requires employees to listen to Rogan’s full interviews, nor are they forced on customers. However, the millions of new members who will move over from Apple podcasts or YouTube will increase ad revenue and increase visibility for the content of other creators.

Trader Joe’s had the perfect response to Wokeistan. Activists decided the retail grocery chain need to change the marketing on its ethnic food products. The company basically said, “Nope. We like them and so do our customers.” There was no boycott, and you don’t see anyone trying to boycott or disparage the company now.

Another excellent rejection of the Wokeists was Goya Foods. The mob came for the CEO when he dared to speak kindly about President Trump during a press conference. Bob Unanue refused to retract or apologize. The blue check army came for the company on Twitter and failed miserably.

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Goya products flew off the shelves because loyal customers were afraid stores would cave to the activists’ demands. People began Goya food drives for families hit with financial problems due to the pandemic. Bodega owners also came out in support of the company, and ultimately, it may have actually hurt Democrats with Hispanic voters. High-profile members of the party like AOC came out in support of the boycott. Not a good look.

Adam Corolla has a good analogy for what these companies did. He likens it to a Bingo caller. The caller spins a cage and calls a ball. Once the ball is called, it is put to the side. All the other balls get spun around again. The people who stand up to the mob are like the ball that is outside the cage. Those who cave stay in the cage & will get spun again and again. You can listen to Corolla explain it here in a conversation with Dave Rubin:

The problem Spotify has created for itself is the first cave. The employees will just have more demands and affect more creators. They have been given editorial control, and it is only a matter of time before it is complete, just like The New York Times. From Rogan’s early comments about the deal, he guaranteed no changes. Several episodes have been eliminated from the full catalog because they were with controversial guests such as Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Gavin McInnes. The one that is really chapping the Wokeists’ behinds is an interview with Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. At this point, Spotify says the content does not violate its terms of service.

Spotify employees do not get Rogan’s audience. They come from across the political spectrum and mostly don’t like to be told what to think. If something doesn’t sound right, we are perfectly capable of looking it up ourselves and don’t need the Wokeists at Spotify giving us fact checks. In fact, we despise it.

As someone on the political right, I rarely agree with Rogan’s political opinions. He was going to vote for Bernie Sanders, for goodness sake. What I appreciate are his humor, willingness to talk to controversial figures, and have in-depth, lengthy discussions about ideas with everyone from Russell Brand to Ben Shapiro. Spotify is going to murder that, apparently. I certainly won’t be paying a subscription fee to watch that happen.

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Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, once said he had the freedom to voice his opinion because he had “f*#% you money.” He said this when he was mobbed, but not because he supported Trump. Instead, the mob descended because he pointed out how and why Trump’s message was effective in the 2016 election. Adam Corolla has expressed similar sentiments and said he built his own studio and businesses to retain that freedom. No one asks him to apologize for anything. He doesn’t have to.

I would have counted Joe Rogan as one of the lucky ones who is impervious to the mob. However, some speculate that he apologized about the comments he made in a recent episode, asserting that activists started forest fires in Oregon, due to pressure from Spotify. I hope that is not the case. And I certainly hope that if the Wokeists at the company keep it up he has an out clause. Because in the current moment, we need more people like Joe Rogan. And we need Joe not to change a single bit.

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