As Spotify faces calls to deplatform Joe Rogan over his alleged Covid misinformation, a number of big name celebrities have voiced their support for the podcast host, including Dwayne Johnson, Kevin James, Jewel, Jamie Kennedy, Tulsi Gabbard, Troy Aikman, Kat Von D, Dominic Monaghan, Candace Owens, Jillian Michaels, Tomi Lahren, and Andrew Dice Clay among others.
After Neil Young and Joni Mitchell decided to pull their music off the Spotify platform over what they claimed was “fake information about vaccines” presented on Rogan’s podcast, the host posted an Instagram video where he explained his position and apologized to anyone he might have “pissed off.” Rogan maintained that he enjoys “interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions,” but admitted that he doesn’t “always get it right” and promised to do better in the future.
Rogan’s video was well received by his fans and garnered a lot of responses including from the likes of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who wrote “Great stuff here brother. Perfectly articulated. Look forward to coming on one day and breaking out the tequila with you.”
Comedian Kevin James also replied in the comments under the video, saying “Joe – we go way back and all these years I’ve known you to be nothing but objective and seeking truth. Thank you. Love you brother.”
Some politicians have also thrown their support behind the podcaster, including former presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson. Gabbard, who has appeared on Rogan’s podcast several times, publicly called out “zealots of wokeism” for trying to censor someone they don’t agree with, while Williamson compared banning a podcast to book burning.
I get the feeling some people are using @joerogan's COVID interview as a pretext to silence his voice because he's not woke. Zealots of wokeism try to censor voices who don't agree with theirs, because they fear the absurdity and weakness of their positions will be exposed.— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) February 1, 2022
I'm triple vaxxed, but (unless they're standing for hate or calling for violence) banning someone's podcast is too much like burning a book to me. Joe Rogan should talk on his podcast about whatever he damn well pleases.— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) January 31, 2022
Meanwhile, others are sticking with the calls to boycott the podcaster. After Neil Young pulled his collection from Spotify, other artists have been following suit and accusing Rogan of “deadly misinformation.” The list includes Joni Mitchell, Young’s former bandmates, singer-songwriter India Arie and there are rumors that the Foo Fighters and Barry Manilow might be the next to walk.
Other celebrities have also joined the calls to remove Joe Rogan from Spotify, with Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira – the iconic horror personality from the ‘80s – accusing the podcaster of being a ‘quack’ and ‘hack’ while dismissing any of her fans who disagreed with her as ‘trash’.
Regarding "fans" (haha) who are leaving me because they prefer "disinformation" over the truth, all I can say is, it's time to clean house and separate the class from the trash! Buh-byeeee!— Elvira (@TheRealElvira) January 31, 2022
Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s production company, which has a podcast deal with Spotify, has also released a statement voicing concern with ‘Covid misinformation’ on the platform, stating that they had already contacted Spotify “about the all too real consequences of Covid misinformation.” The royal couple added that “We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis.”
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has responded to the controversy by stating that the company will take all the criticisms into consideration and attempt to provide “balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time.”
“We take this seriously and will continue to partner with experts and invest heavily in our platform functionality and product capabilities for the benefit of creators and listeners alike,” he added. “That doesn’t mean that we always get it right, but we are committed to learning, growing and evolving.”