Spotify CEO condemns Joe Rogan's use of N-word, but says he will not remove him from the platform

The company has committed $100 million to elevating the voices of historically marginalized groups.
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oe Rogan reacts during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
oe Rogan reacts during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
(Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty Images)

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says he "strongly" condemns the racial slurs and some other comments made by star podcaster Joe Rogan but will not be remove his content from the platform. 

Ek's decision was detailed in a letter to staffers in the days following revelations last week about Rogan's language, for which he has apologized.

The revelations follow some of the platform's biggest music stars having threatened just days earlier to pull their respective catalogues over Rogan's podcast episodes, including some that are interviews doctors, which they say spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Spotify attempted to resolve the potentially financially ruinous situation by putting a "content advisory" tag on the podcasts in question, to which Rogan agreed.

However, several prominent singer-songwriters of generations past, including Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, still yanked their music from the platform in protest of Rogan's continued presence. 

Spotify's decision to keep Rogan on the platform was then followed by the release of a montage video of Rogan repeatedly using the N-word.

Ek also said Rogan made the decision to remove several dozen previous episodes of "The Joe Rogan Experience" after a discussions with the audio streaming platform. 

"While I strongly condemn what Joe has said ... I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer," said Ek, adding that he stands behind his belief in Spotify's content moderation policies and that the company should draw clear boundaries around the content being published.

The company also committed $100 million – roughly the amount it paid Rogan in a deal to acquire the show – to licensing, developing and marketing the music and content of artists and entertainers from historically marginalized groups.