Joe Rogan insists he's not transphobic after a segment on his podcast sparked outrage among Spotify employees.
The iconic UFC commentator and comedian sold his The Joe Rogan Experience podcast to music streaming giant Spotify for $100 million in May.
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However, the partnership with the streaming platform has proved troublesome, with reports of internal conflict at the company arising over employees' concerns that episodes of his program were "transphobic".
It's understood Spotify staff threatened to strike last month unless the company removed an episode of Rogan's podcast featuring Abigail Shrier, author of the book 'Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters'.
Rogan has now broken his silence on the controversy, claiming that Spotify executives had “literally said nothing to me about it”.
“Zero. It’s never come up,” he said.
The 53-year-old broadcaster also denied that the episode in question is anti-transgender.
“Now, is there someone at Spotify that’s complaining about the Abigail Shrier episode? I’m sure. Is it a transphobic episode? It’s not. They’re wrong. It’s nothing to do with that. It has to do with the fact that human beings are actually malleable. We all know that. That’s why cults exist," Rogan said.
“There’s a thought process now,” Rogan continued, “that if you’re talking at all about trans people, you have to be 100 per cent supportive. You can never question whether or not children should be allowed to transition … All this is madness.
“What Abigail is talking about in her book … is large clusters of kids who are mostly kids that are socially awkward, many of them are autistic, many of them have never had any praise at all in their life, and they transition and they get all this praise from people. Because it is, right now it’s in vogue.”
UFC icon turns tables on Spotify employees
Rogan also attempted to convince employees at Spotify that he was not transphobic, while defending his right to freedom of speech.
“I don’t know what the actual conversation has been from Spotify talking to these employees. But if these employees are listening, I would tell you, emphatically, I am not in any way anti-trans... I am 100 per cent for people being able to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t harm other people," he said.
“I’m talking off the top of my head. And a lot of times I’m saying shit that I don’t even mean. I’m saying it because this is a f***ing podcast,” he added.
“And if you have a problem with people saying terrible s*** and you work for Spotify, maybe you should listen to some of the lyrics (of songs on the platform). Because some of the lyrics and some of the f***ing music that you guys play over and over and over again makes my s*** pale in comparison.
“But I get it, you’re a 23-year-old woke kid and you’re working for this company and you think you’re gonna put your foot down, I get it.”
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