Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has issued an apology to his employees over the recent Joe Rogan controversy.
Ek, 38, recently released a note to his employees addressing a viral compilation video that has been circulating on social media, which shows podcast host Joe Rogan using the 'n-word' more than 20 times.
In a message to staff - obtained by NBC News via a spokesperson for the company - Ek states: "There are now words I can say to adequately convey how deeply sorry I am for the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continued to impact each of you.
"Not only are some of Joe Rogan's comments incredibly hurtful – I want to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company."[[imagecaption|| Credit: REUTERS / Alamy]]
But despite acknowledging that some Spotify employees are feeling "frustrated, drained, and unheard", Ek revealed that he did not believe canceling Joe Rogan's podcast to be the answer. He explained:
"While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more. And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.
"We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress."
This comes after The Independent reported that Spotify had "quietly" removed 113 episodes of Rogan's podcast since criticism erupted.
Last week, Rogan issues two separate apologies to his Instagram page.
The first came when music stars such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell requested to have their music pulled from Spotify over comments made on Rogan's podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience - in particular, the episodes that featured interviews with Dr. Robert Malone (#1757) and Dr. Peter McCullough (#1747) about the ongoing pandemic.
In response to the backlash, Rogan took to Instagram to share a near-10-minute video explaining his side of the story, and how he aims to "do better".You can check out Rogan's first video below:
Following this news, a 29-second clip was widely shared on platforms like Twitter, showing multiple times Rogan had used the 'n-word' in the past.
While Rogan stated that the clips were "taken out of context", he insisted he no longer uses the word, adding: "It’s not my word to use, I’m well aware of that now."
The podcast host added: "I can’t go back in time and change what I’ve said, I wish I could, obviously that’s not possible, but I do hope that this can be a teachable moment for anybody that doesn’t realize how offensive that word can be coming out of a white person’s mouth, in context or out of context."You can watch Rogan's second apology video below:
"My sincere and humble apologies. I wish there was more that I could say," Rogan adds.