Rogan was already a controversial podcast host for views that weren't exactly secret, but they seemed to ramp up following his move to Spotify. He's expressed skepticism about vaccines and other methods for fighting the coronavirus even after he contracted it, inviting anti-vaxxers on his show such as the bile fountain known as Alex Jones.
Nothing seems to be able to dent the podcast host outside, but the anti-Rogan sentiment came to its breaking point when one of the cornerstones of modern music said he wanted out of the Spotify platform because of Rogan.
Neil Young expressed his disdain for Spotify and Rogan in a letter to his management and record label that has since been taken down from the Internet, according to Rolling Stone. Young drew a very clear line in the digital sand when it comes to the streaming platform.
"I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform," Young wrote. "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both."
Apparently, Spotify has made their choice and are going with Rogan. The streaming company announced Wednesday that Young's catalog of music will no longer stream on its platform.
And to those who are wondering why Young is so mad at Rogan, here's just a sample of some of the really dumb and crazy things Rogan has said on his own show.
Almost Everything Joe Rogan Has Said About Vaccines and the Coronavirus
Spotify’s Joe Rogan encourages "healthy" young people not to get a coronavirus vaccine. His show is Spotify's most popular podcast.— Alex Paterson (@AlexPattyy) April 27, 2021
“If you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I'll go no.” pic.twitter.com/5dX98xUaHS
There are so many moments when Rogan and his guests have questioned the pandemic and the vaccine designed to fight it that it's forced Spotify to step in and take a rare case of action. Even though Rogan prefaced the comment by saying he thinks it's safe to get vaccinated back in April, he followed it by saying he'd tell people who are 21, exercising and eating well, "I don't think you need to worry about this."
A recent guest on Rogan's show was noted coronavirus skeptic Dr. Robert Malone, who was banned from Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation. Malone said on Rogan's podcast that it's "nucking futs" [sic] for people who got the virus to still be vaccinated because of "an explosion of vaccine-associated deaths," a claim that Politifact rated as "false" when other pundits said it. He once suggested that President Joe Biden's on-air vaccination was faked because "What if he dies?"
Rogan has repeatedly pushed medications like ivermectin as treatment methods for COVID even when he got a positive COVID test and even though it's been approved by the Federal Drug Administration only to treat for parasitic worms, head lice and rosacea. He and fellow vaccine skeptic Jimmy Dore made not-so-subtle hints that the reason ivermectin hasn't been pushed as a COVID treatment is because it's a relatively affordable drug.
Frankly, there's not nearly enough time or space to cover every example. An open letter signed by 270 credited physicians written to Spotify specifically because of Joe Rogan's stances on COVID and the vaccine does a good job of summing up Rogan's claims.
Rogan Blames Forest Fires on Left-Wing Arsonists
Rogan has a long history of interest in conspiracy theories from the earliest days of his comedy to the height of his podcast's popularity. Its led to the relationships and friendships he's made with some of the biggest conspiracy pushers in modern media including Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones. One of Rogan's more outlandish theories led him to issue a rare apology and correction after he said some really dumb shit in an interview with neoconservative Douglas Murray.
"They've arrested people for lighting forest fires up there," Rogan said. "They've arrested left-wing people for lighting forest fires, air-quote activists, and this is something that's also not being wildly reported."
Rogan Calls "Bullshit" on White Nationalist Group's Rally, But Not in the Way You Hope
Rogan is unafraid to talk about race and racism in very stark and unflinching terms on stage and behind the mic. One of the crazier instance questioned the existence of a hate group's presence and possibly as a whole.
The Patriot Front, a hate group founded in 2017 in the shadow of the deadly Charlottesville rally, held a march last December through downtown Washington, D.C. Rogan played footage of the bizarre rally during an episode with journalist Matt Taibbi and called "bullshit" on the whole thing, saying it was really the "feds" behind the riots. "They're all in shape. They're all thin. They're uniformly marching with flags. I'm like, there's no way these fucking idiots would be this organized," Rogan said.
As more right-wing pundits piggybacked on Rogan's sentiments, including noted conspiracist U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the website Snopes did a thorough debunking of Rogan's and similar claims. They cited the presence and documented arrest record of its founder and (unfortunately) Dallas native Ryan Rousseau and investigations into the group by outlets like ProPublica.
Rogan's Stances on Transgender People
He and author Douglas Murray discussed on an episode in 2020 that acceptance of trans people may be a sign of the end times for America because "at the end of empires, they get really concerned with gender and hermaphrodites and those things."
Rogan suggested in an episode with comedian Jim Breuer that "people who were marginalized for being, like, generally dumb people, if they transfer over and become another gender, then they get praised. There are a lot of people who are idiots but then they become trans, and now all of a sudden we think they're amazing."
Rogan promoted a book by author Abigail Shrier called Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, which calls being transgender a "contagion" and claims there are links between being transgender and suffering from eating disorders and participating in occult activities. Rogan piled on her ideas by accusing the transgender community of having an "agenda" that's "ideologically driven that anyone who even thinks they might be trans should be trans, are trans, and the more trans people the better. The more kids that transition the better."