Podcaster Joe Rogan apologized on Sunday to anyone who is offended by his frequent broadcast of misinformation about the coronavirus and the vaccine as pressure increases against Spotify, which hosts his show.
“If I pissed you off, I’m sorry,” Rogan said on Instagram. “And if you enjoy the podcast, thank you.”
However, Rogan also took issue with the term “misinformation” and defended his “highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished” guests.
“They have an opinion that is different from the mainstream narrative,” he said. “I wanted to hear what their opinion is.”
Rogen’s comments came days after rock icon Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify because of Rogan’s podcast.
“They can have Rogan or Young,” Young wrote. “Not both.”
Fellow music legend Joni Mitchell followed suit, saying: “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”
Rogan said he doesn’t hold it against either of them.
“I’m very sorry that they feel that way,” he said. “I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan. I’ve always been a Neil Young fan.”
At various points in his nearly 10-minute statement, Rogan admitted that he doesn’t always do a lot of prep work for his show but promised to do more research “and have all the pertinent facts at hand before I discuss them.”
Rogan also pledged to “balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view.”
On Sunday, Spotify released a statement saying it would add a content advisory to podcasts that discuss the coronavirus and direct listeners to its “COVID-19 hub” for more information.
Rogan said he supported that.
Spotify also said it has rules against content that “promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information.” Given some of Rogan’s episodes, those rules do not seem to have been enforced with much vigor.
In addition to featuring guests who’ve spread misleading information about the pandemic, Rogan has come under fire for some of his own comments. Last year, for example, he falsely suggested that young, healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He later walked it back, calling himself a “fucking moron” and “not a respected source of information.”
As Young and Mitchell exited Spotify, their fans followed suit. While it’s not clear how many canceled, #ByeSpotify trended on Twitter several times, including on Sunday evening, after the company’s announcement and Rogan’s apology.
Spotify is paying Rogan a reported $100 million to be the exclusive home of his podcast, which he claims has 200 million monthly listeners.
Rogan’s full statement is below: