Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told staffers Sunday that the company will not be “canceling” Joe Rogan after a clip of the podcaster using the N-word went viral.
Ek explained his position on Rogan in a lengthy letter to employees that criticized Rogan’s comments but fell short of taking action against the controversial host.
“Not only are some of Joe Rogan’s comments incredibly hurtful – I want to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company,” Ek wrote in the memo, which was obtained by Axios.
“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said … I realize some will want more,” he said.
“I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope.”
Rogan, 54, dropped the N-word almost two dozen times while hosting his wildly popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” according to newly unearthed clips.
The podcaster called the viral compilation “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly” on Friday, saying the video was a collage of “out of context” snippets from “12 years of conversations.”
Ek confirmed in the letter that the company has had talks with Rogan about his use of “some racially insensitive language.”
Following the discussions, Rogan removed some of his podcast episodes from Spotify, according to Ek.
Spotify also stuck behind Rogan amid his initial scandal surrounding COVID-19 misinformation on his podcast.
Legendary rocker Neil Young and several other notable musicians yanked their catalogs off Spotify after the company failed to cut ties with Rogan over the coronavirus controversy.
In Sunday’s letter, Ek also informed staffers that Spotify would be investing $100 million to help boost diversity on the platform.
“I am committing to an incremental investment of $100 million for the licensing, development, and marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from historically marginalized groups,” he wrote.
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