Joe Rogan is now responding to seemingly-endless accusations of transphobia — specifically those involving Caitlin Jenner. Activist Spotify employees have reportedly demanded the removal of Rogan’s comments and direct-editing over future episodes.
Rogan, who inked an estimated $100 million exclusive podcasting deal with Spotify, is now speaking out after weathering repeated accusations of transphobia. Rogan specifically addressed pushback to his earlier jokes about Caitlin Jenner.
The Jenner comments are just one of a several transgender-related segments that have reportedly prompted activist Spotify employees to demand serious changes to the podcast. According to Vice, more than ten meetings have been held internally with Spotify upper management to address the situation. The demands reportedly included the removal or editing of Rogan’s content deemed offensive, or even the flat-out removal of entire episodes viewed as transphobic or problematic.
In Rogan’s recent interview with comedian Bridget Phelan, Rogan slammed the accusations as ridiculous.
“The victim mentality, one of the reasons why I reject it so heavily, is that it’s completely contrary to comedy,” Rogan started. “If everyone is a victim, and you can’t have any victims ever, then you can’t have any jokes. Because you’re making fun of things that are preposterous, and as soon as you can’t make fun of things that are preposterous…”
“We were talking before about this Vice thing that was written about transphobic episodes of this podcast,” Rogan noted. “And one of the things they wrote is that I incorrectly described how Caitlin Jenner transitioned — or why Caitlin Jenner transitioned. And I’m like, ‘oh, you mean, Kris Jenner isn’t really a demon that hovers over his bed, and whispers in his ear, and converted him to a woman?’ I mean, what the f—k are you talking about?”
“This kind of nonsense is like — and by the way, I know Caitlin Jenner got mad of me. But I was just recounting an old joke from 2016. I got no hate for that person. And I’m sorry if I said the wrong name, I don’t have any hate. But we’re making big deals out of things that aren’t big deals. And we’re turning jokes into literal statements that are hate speech.
“And that s—t is nonsense — and you know it’s nonsense,” Rogan concluded. “And you know it’s nonsense.”
Joe Rogan relayed the 2016 bit (for the Netflix show ‘Triggered’) to an earlier podcast guest, Tim Kennedy. In it, he quipped that Bruce Jenner was driven to transition because of the environment of the Kardashian household. “Maybe if you live with crazy b—s long enough they f—ing turn you into one,” Rogan said. “Maybe you go crazy. Maybe that too. Especially those ones.”
Rogan was also blasted for ‘deadnaming’ Bruce Jenner while misidentifying Caitlin Jenner’s post-transition gender.
“He’s a homophobic, transphobic a—,” Jenner blasted back, while accusing Rogan of feeling inadequate given the Kardashian’s larger levels of wealth and success. “He does this all the time. My daughters have obviously done extremely well. He’s gotten his fame by putting other people down and making jokes about it.”
But that wasn’t the only Rogan podcast episode drawing extreme pushback from activist Spotify employees.
In a July podcast episode, Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, expressed serious reservations about young women undergoing gender transition therapy and operations. Shrier strongly argued that most teen and pre-teen girls aren’t old enough to make such a serious, irreversible decision, and are oftentimes seeking social acceptance or escape instead of genuinely being transgender.
Shrier’s opinions on the matter (and Rogan’s agreement) drew howls of protest from certain Spotify staffers, who demanded the show’s removal or substantial editing. Currently, the episode is still available unaltered on the Spotify platform.
Additionally, activist employees also reportedly pushed for direct editing oversight over Rogan’s future episodes, which could include introductory trigger warnings, removal of controversial sections, or references to ‘fact-checked’ alternatives for details cited during Rogan’s interviews.
In the moments following those demands, the employees also threatened to stage a walk-out or even go on strike. So far, neither of those actions has occurred.
Ultimately, Spotify pushed back and left all of the episodes and comments intact. But the streaming platform has already removed earlier episodes involving controversial figures. Spotify may have also forced Rogan to issue a rare apology for comments linking left-wing Antifa activists to a string of forest fires in Oregon.
At this stage, it’s unclear whether Spotify is planning future edits or additional removals.