Joe Rogan has claimed that his podcast’s subscription base has gained two million more listeners over the last couple of months despite incessant calls from the ‘woke mob’ for him to be canceled following footage of him using the n-word and hosting anti-vaxxer guests promoting Covid disinformation on his show.
On his latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience on Friday, Rogan, 54, was asked by his guest, British author and political commentator Douglas Murray, about being pilloried by the mainstream media.
‘You have been put through the ringer since we last met,’ Murray tells the former UFC commentator. ‘They did a number on you. Wow.’
Rogan replied: ‘It’s interesting, my subscriptions went up massively — that’s what’s crazy. During the height of it all, I gained 2 million subscribers.’
If true, that would raise his subscriptions to around 11 million from the nine million he had when the controversies began.
Spotify, which reportedly paid a minimum of $200 million to bring the podcast to its platform, doesn’t usually disclose its JRE subscriber numbers to the public.
Joe Rogan (right) dropped a bombshell on the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience on Friday when he revealed to his guest, British political commentator Douglas Murray (left), that he has 11 million listeners per episode on average
A source close to The Hollywood Reporter has claimed that Rogan has steadily been attracting more listeners over the couple of months, squashing rumors that the influx is due to a specific event
However, a source close to the Hollywood Reporter squashed rumors that the show spiked due to a specific event, instead confirming that its audience has grown over the last year, according to the outlet.
Meanwhile, Rogan also took the opportunity to roast CNN on his latest episode after the news outlet wrongly claimed that he’d taken ‘horse dewormer’ to relieve COVID symptoms that he had contracted last September.
Rogan was actually taking the FDA-approved form of Ivermectin – mainly used to treat people with intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, two conditions caused by parasitic worms. The drug is usually sold in the form of tablets and was approved to treat external parasites like head lice and for skin conditions such as rosacea.
‘Yeah, [the media] went for it. It’s also fortunate that the people who went for it were CNN,’ the popular podcast host said. ‘They’re so untrustworthy and people know how biased they are and socially weird their anchors are.’
Rogan’s roast didn’t stop there, as he slammed the cable network for its failure to sustain its own streaming service, CNN+, three weeks after it had been launched.
‘They spent 300 million dollars, they get 10,000 subscribers,’ Rogan said. More than 300 people were cut from the $5.99 per month streaming service, which featured popular journalist Chris Wallace after his departure from Fox News.
‘Imagine the hubris of thinking that something that people don’t want for free… that you’re going to charge money for it,’ the host added.
In September 2021, Rogan revealed on Instagram that he had been contracted with COVID-19
The podcaster told his listeners that he was using Ivermectin to cure his COVID symptoms rather than to get vaccinated, stirring controversy from pro-vaccine artists who also had deals with Spotify, including Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, before removing their albums and tracks from the music streaming platform
Rogan also heavily criticized CNN for claiming that he was taking a form of Ivermectin used to treat cattle and wool for worm infections
Friday’s discussion on-air is just the latest headline-grabbing incident for Rogan, who faces a boycott from artists, led by Neil Young, who pulled their music from Spotify over his COVID-19 comments and use of racial slurs. Joni Mitchell is also among the celebrities demanding that Spotify cancels its $200 million contract with Rogan.
The podcaster garnered controversy after a December 31 podcast of The Joe Rogan Experience in which he chatted with Dr Robert Malone, an anti-vaccine proponent who was previously banned from Twitter over the spread of COVID misinformation.
But even when Rogan tested positive for COVID last fall, he said that he was able to recover within three days thanks to several treatments, including the much-talked about anti-parasite drug ivermectin, which is used to treat infections in horses and cows.
Earlier this year, Rogan addressed the backlash and said listeners should take his words with a grain of salt because he ‘talks sh*t for a living.’
‘I talk sh*t for a living – that’s why this is so baffling to me,’ Rogan said during an appearance at the Vulcan Gas Company in Austin, referring to the backlash he’s faced.
‘If you’re taking vaccine advice from me, is that really my fault?’ Rogan asked fans in his first public appearance since folk-rock icon Young pulled his discography from the platform over the controversy in January, 2022.
‘What dumb sh*t were you about to do when my stupid idea sounded better? “You know that dude who made people people eat animal d***s on TV? How does he feel about medicine?”‘ the former Fear Factor host quipped in regards to the retaliation he’s faced for his and guests’ various opinions on the virus – and in particular, vaccines – expressed on the show.
‘If you want my advice, don’t take my advice,’ he stated.
In January, a group of 270 doctors and scientists signed an open letter to Spotify accusing Rogan of pushing ‘anti-vax misinformation’ and branding him a ‘menace to public health’.
Spotify eventually launched content advisory warnings on episodes that include discussion about COVID-19 on a rolling basis.
Then in February, clips resurfaced from Rogan’s podcast in which he used the N-word over 20 times.
‘Somebody made a compilation of every time I said that word over 14 years and they put it on YouTube, and it turned out that was racist as f***. Even to me! I’m me and I’m watching it saying, ‘Stop saying it!’ I put my cursor over the video and I’m like, ‘Four more minutes?!’
‘I haven’t used that word in years. But it’s kind of weird people will get really mad if you use that word and tweet about it on a phone that’s made by slaves,’ he added, presumably a coy reference to Apple’s iPhone’s made by low-wage workers in China.
Joe Rogan posted a nearly six minute video to Instagram Saturday in which he spoke about a video of him that contained resurfaced clips of him saying the N-word on his podcast
Rogan faced swift backlash after his n-word compilation was posted in early February, with celebrities like singer India Arie adding to the pressure on Spotify boss Daniel Ek to kick off the podcast star off the streaming service.
He later apologized, calling it ‘the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.’
Spotify subsequently removed a slew of episodes of Rogan’s podcast from its platform, including the ones that contained the volatile language.
Ek said in a message to employees that Rogan’s racist language was ‘incredibly hurtful’ and that the host stood behind the removal of the dozens of episodes of his show, but reiterated that the company would not part ways with Rogan – their most popular podcaster.
Rogan’s brush with controversy didn’t end there.
In March, Rogan slammed employees of large Bay Area tech firms as woke ‘activists’ on his podcast, labeling workers for companies such as Google as ‘mentally ill’ and ‘lunatics who are running the asylum to a certain extent’ during an interview with Silicon Valley vet Antonio García Martínez.
The former engineer at Apple and Facebook was fired by the Mac maker after staffers petitioned to have him nixed over ‘misogynistic’ writings in his autobiographical book in which he wrote ‘women in the Valley are ‘full of sh*t’ and likened a former Indian coworker to a ‘bored auto-rickshaw driver from Delhi.’
Rogan asked Martinez what it was like to work at the two tech giants, but before the guest could answer, Rogan recalled a conversation with a ‘good friend’ who worked at Google before leaving for another ‘large tech company’
‘And the way she described it to me she’s like it is utter madness,’ the UFC commentator said. ‘And the lunatics are running the asylum to a certain extent’
Rogan also frustratingly remarked that whenever those woke workers are ‘confronted’ over not getting work done, ‘they talk about their activism.’
To date, Spotify has removed at least 113 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience – with most episodes that have been taken down recorded involving far-right commentators, including Prod Boys founder Gavin McInness, Ukrainian-American author Michael Malice, Infowars founder Alex Jones and British far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos.
The podcaster was supported by some conservative media figures who pledged to defend his freedom of speech.
Donald Trump Jr condemned ‘the woke mob’ for trying to cancel Rogan.
Conservative commentator and Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro also voiced his support for Rogan and accused the left of using his later racial slurs controversy to ‘destroy a guy who doesn’t carry water for those with institutional power.’
The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who has been largely criticized for his vaccine skepticism and the way he’s governed the country throughout the pandemic, also backed Rogan on the social media platform.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek first responded to the controversy surrounding Rogan’s comments regarding COVID and vaccines against the deadly virus in an official statement in January, saying Spotify would be adding COVID-19 content advisories to all podcast episodes that cover the virus.
Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek (pictured) has stressed the importance of free speech and providing a platform that shares differing views
Spotify released a statement Sunday saying that while it doesn’t always ‘get it right, we are committed to learning, growing and evolving’
Ek pushed back at employees demanding Rogan be ousted from the service’s catalog, saying the controversial podcaster is vital to the platform’s future and it’s not the company’s place to ‘dictate the discourse’ of his show.
‘There are many things that Joe Rogan says that I strongly disagree with and find very offensive,’ Ek said at a company town hall.
But ‘if we want even a shot at achieving our bold ambitions, it will mean having content on Spotify that many of us may not be proud to be associated with.’
Rogan publicly addressed the controversy earlier this year in a post discussing ‘some of the controversy that’s been going on over the past few days.’
He told fans on Instagram: ‘I don’t always get it right. I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view.’