- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 31, 2022

Podcast host Joe Rogan has threatened to cancel his $200 million Spotify deal if “he has to walk on eggshells,” following boycotts by artists who pulled their music from the platform over his COVID-19 comments and racial slurs.

MMA fighter Josh Barnett told the host Tuesday during his guest appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” that he was worried about being judged for “every little thing” he said.

“There’s more people poring over it, but it’s the same thing. I do it the same way,” Mr. Rogan told the fighter. “If I become something different because it grew bigger, I will quit. If it gets to the point that I can’t do it anymore, I have to do it in a weird way where I walk on eggshells and mind my p’s and q’s, f— that!”  

Mr. Rogan’s 2020 deal with Spotify was initially reported to be for $100 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, but The New York Times confirmed that the agreement was worth double that last month. The deal runs through 2023.

In January, a group of 270 scientists, doctors and health care workers wrote a letter to Spotify, expressing concern about “false and societally harmful assertions” being spread on the platform’s most popular podcast.

Spotify did not respond, prompting several high-profile musicians — including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell — to remove their music from the streaming platform.

The company eventually posted content advisory warnings on episodes with COVID discussion. After a video compilation of Mr. Rogan using the N-word circulated on social media in February, Spotify removed more than 113 episodes.

• Peter Santo can be reached at psanto@washingtontimes.com.

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