Spotify’s CEO says he ‘deeply’ rejects the racial slurs and insults made by controversial US podcaster Joe Rogan, he will not be removing him from the site.

The New York-based company faces an unprecedented crisis as a result of the presenter’s racial and Covid-19 language, which has resulted in a massive scandal and a number of major artists and podcasters leaving the site.

Rogan, who promised last week that he would be more careful while discussing the pandemic, apologized on Saturday, February 5, after a video compilation of him using the n-word was widely shared on social media.

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Rogan stressed that he is “not racist” and has not used such words in recent years.

He apologized in an Instagram video posted to his account that he acted inappropriately, but he claimed that films that circulated online were not in context.

In 2020, Spotify (SPOT) agreed to exclusively carry Rogan’s hugely popular podcast on its platform.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the transaction was valued at more than $100 million.

In a statement to employees published by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek stated that he would be making “an added investment of $100 million for the licensing, creation, and promotion of music artists and songwriters, in addition, audio material from historically underrepresented groups.”

It’s unclear, though, whether such action will soothe the Rogan issue.

Many critics have asked for considerably harsher punishments, with many calling for Rogan to be fired.

Ek stated on Sunday, February 6, that Rogan’s remarks “do not represent the values of this company,” and that Spotify had “conversations with Joe and his crew about some of the content in his program, including his history of using some racially offensive words.

“Following these discussions and his own reflections, he chose to remove a number of episodes from Spotify,”

According to JRE Missing, a website that tracks the show, more than 100 episodes of Rogan’s show have been removed from the podcaster’s collection.

Ek apologized to staff for how the controversy “continues to impact” each of them.

He said: “I deeply regret that you are carrying so much of this burden.

“I also want to be transparent in setting the expectation that in order to achieve our goal of becoming the global audio platform, these kinds of disputes will be inevitable.”

Spotify’s CEO stated that combining “creative expression with user safety” is something he has been thinking about and that he has directed teams to “increase the amount of independent experts” they contact with on such efforts.

Ek and Spotify have been trying, unsuccessfully, to put an end to controversy related to Rogan’s podcast for weeks.

Neil Young was the first recording artist to ask that his music be removed from the platform on January 25. Joni Mitchell followed shortly after and other musicians and podcasters have continued to join the growing boycott.

Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming and media services provider founded in April 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. 

Source: CNN Business

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