Howard Stern has slammed Joe Rogan in the past for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, but that doesn’t mean Stern wants to see the controversial Spotify radio host shunned in public opinion. Speaking on his Sirius XM radio show this week, Stern said he doesn’t believe in censorship and expressed a level of admiration for Rogan’s podcast empire.
“I don’t listen to Joe Rogan. I know Joe from 100 years ago,” Stern said this week (via Mediaite). “We’re no longer friendly. We were friendly at one point — I just knew him as the funny guy, as a comedian — I knew him before he was on ‘Fear Factor’ actually. I know that his podcast is very popular, they say… I am for any performer who can get any money and get paid. I’m happy for any young man or woman who can get paid in show business because so many people do not get paid. So those that can, god bless. It ain’t easy. It’s not an easy road. And attracting an audience is not easy.”
Rogan struck a $100 million deal with Spotify to bring his podcast over to the platform. Stern concluded, “I don’t want to see Joe Rogan cancelled… Everything in this world comes down to money.”
“The View” host Joy Behar agreed with Stern during the Jan. 26 episode of the ABC daytime talk show. Behar stressed that Rogan is “a horror” because of his COVID beliefs, but she cited the First Amendment and said that doesn’t mean Spotify should dump him. Instead, she called on people to boycott Spotify or not tune into Rogan’s show as an act of protest if they don’t agree with Rogan.
“The way to counter that speech is with more speech,” Behar said. “The way to counter it is with boycotts.”
Behar praised Neil Young for threatening to remove his music from Spotify in protest of Rogan. Spotify has since confirmed to Variety that it is in the process of taking Young’s music off the platform.
“Maybe other musicians will follow suit, and that would be legitimate,” Behar said. “It’s not a cancel culture, it’s a consequence culture. And the way we handle it is we don’t buy Spotify. We ignore Spotify.”
Behar’s “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin noted that Spotify shouldn’t cancel Rogan but should be “good corporate citizens” and draw a line, adding, “I mean I’m not saying that Joe Rogan should be removed from Spotify. He’s got 11 million listeners, he’s got a $100 million contract, as of 2020, but I do think, as the podcast platform, you have to have some sort of guidelines. How about a disclaimer on his podcast, that says ‘This is misinformation.’ How about removing some of the podcasts that disseminate this misinformation?”
While an official reason was never announced, Spotify did remove 42 episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience” from its platform in April 2021.