Joe Rogan Thanks His Haters as He Pledges to 'Balance Out' Controversial Views amid Misinformation Backlash

"I don't want to just show the contrary opinion to what the narrative is," Rogan said following criticism of the misinformation on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe Rogan
Photo: Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty

Joe Rogan is speaking out following backlash to claims about the COVID-19 pandemic shared on his Spotify podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.

The host, 54, posted a nearly 10-minute video to his Instagram account on Sunday to address the ongoing criticism surrounding his content after multiple artists removed their music from the platform in protest.

"Now, because of this controversy … Neil Young has removed his music from the platform of Spotify and Joni Mitchell and apparently some other people want to as well," he said. "I'm very sorry that they feel that way. I most certainly don't want that. I'm a Neil Young fan, I've always been a Neil Young fan."

Rogan, who said he agrees with Spotify's recent decision to include disclaimers on podcast episodes discussing COVID-19, promised to make more of an effort to "balance out" the controversial opinions on his show.

"My pledge to you is that I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people's perspectives, so that we can maybe find a better point of view," he said. "I don't want to just show the contrary opinion to what the narrative is. I want to show all kinds of opinions so that we can all figure what's going on..."

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While Rogan pointed out that he has had medical professionals like Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Michael Osterholm and Dr. Peter Hotez on his show as guests, he also admitted that he never expected to have millions of fans.

"It's a strange responsibility to have this many viewers and listeners," he said. "It's very strange, and it's nothing that I prepared for and it's nothing that I ever anticipated."

Neil Young and Joe Rogan
Neil Young and Joe Rogan. getty (2)

"I do all the scheduling myself, and I don't always get it right," he added. "These podcasts are very strange because they're just conversations, and oftentimes I have no idea what I'm going to talk about until I sit down to talk to people, and that's why some of my ideas are not that prepared or fleshed out because I'm literally having them in real time. But I do my best."

He continued, "If I pissed you off, I'm sorry. And if you enjoyed the podcast, thank you. … Thank you all the supporters and even thank you to the haters because it's good to have some haters. It makes you reassess what you're doing and put things into perspective and I think that's good too."

Many of Rogan's friends and supporters, including Dwayne Johnson, applauded his response to the controversy in the comments. "Great stuff here brother," Johnson, 49, wrote. Look forward to coming on one day and breaking out the tequila with you."

The video comes days after Young, 76, demanded Spotify remove his music from the platform after he claimed that Rogan was spreading misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic on his podcast. Mitchell, 78, and Nils Lofgren later joined Young in having their music pulled from the streaming service.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also called on Spotify to address the "serious harms" caused by COVID misinformation after signing an exclusive multi-year podcast deal with the company in 2020.

To combat inaccurate information regarding the coronavirus and vaccines, Spotify announced plans on Sunday to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes discussion about COVID-19.

"This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a news release.

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