Neil Young grabbed everyone's attention when he released a statement demanding Spotify choose between his music or Joe Rogan's podcast. “Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information," the 76-year-old singer said.
Joni Mitchell also followed suit and pulled her music from the popular streaming platform.
Joe Rogan Talks about Misinformation
Until now we haven't heard anything from Joe Rogan about this controversy. But he finally broke the silence on his Instagram on January 30. He thanked everyone for their support and responded specifically to the accusations of spreading misinformation. He reminded everyone, "They're just conversations."
"The problem I have with the term 'misinformation,' especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact," Joe said.
He cited a few examples: A couple months ago, if you said that you can still catch and spread coronavirus even though you're vaccinated, you would have been removed from social media. If you said cloth masks don't work or that coronavirus came from a lab, you would have been banned from various platforms. However, Joe pointed out that these are now headlines on CNN or Newsweek and they're accepted as fact today.
The two guests he had on that caused artists like Neil Young to pull their music were Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Peter McCullough. Joe insisted that he only ever wanted to have open conversations with them, just like he did with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Joe Rogan Isn't Trying To Be Controversial
Joe also observed that many people "have a distorted perception" of what he does on his show. All he ever wanted to do was "have interesting conversations." He noted that many people form their opinions about his show from the headlines they read in the news.
"I'm not trying to promote misinformation. I'm not trying to be controversial," he said. "I've never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to talk to people."
The show started as Joe just messing around with his friends "and having fun and talking." He never thought it would explode to the level that it has.
"I don't know what else I can do differently other than try harder to get people with differing opinions on right afterwards," he added. "I do think that that's important. And do my best to make sure that I've researched these topics – the controversial ones in particular."
He also expressed his gratitude to Spotify: "I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time and I'm very sorry that this is happening to them."
Joe Rogan Still Loves Neil Young
Joe makes it clear that he's not mad that Neil Young has pulled his music. "I'm a huge Neil Young fan," he said as he shared his most vivid memory of Neil Young. When he was only 19 years old, he was a security guard at an outdoor amphitheater in Mansfield, MA. The crowd got so crazy when Neil Young went on stage that he pulled his hoodie over his security shirt and left to avoid getting beat up. He didn't even collect his final pay.
"No hard feelings towards Neil Young and definitely no hard feelings towards Joni Mitchell," he concluded.