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Spotify temporarily removed dozens of ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast episodes due to ‘technical issue’

A man with a shaved head and a black shirt wearing an earpiece.
Joe Rogan enters the octagon during the UFC 225: Whittaker v. Romero 2 event in 2018.
(Dylan Buell / Getty Images)

Spotify this week temporarily removed dozens more episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” one of the company’s most popular and controversial podcasts, according to the automated tracking website JRE Missing. Unlike past removals, these takedowns may have been caused by a technical glitch.

“Spotify is aware of this technical issue, and we are looking into it now,” a Spotify spokesperson told The Times on Wednesday. Rogan did not respond to a request for comment.

On Thursday morning, Spotify reported that the episodes had been restored.

Thirty-six newly removed episodes appear to have been recorded prior to Rogan’s exclusive licensing deal to take his show and its back catalog to Spotify in 2020, reportedly valued at more than $200 million.

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The interviewees featured in the newly removed episodes did not seem to fit a particular pattern. Removed episodes included interviews with politicians such as Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw and former Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; musicians including Post Malone, RZA and Everlast; and comedians such as Bryan Callen, Legion of Skanks and Eddie Izzard.

Although Rogan and Spotify officials have said Rogan retains complete creative control of his shows under the 2020 deal, the service has previously intentionally removed more than 100 older episodes. An initial wave of removals after the 2020 deal included interviews with far-right personalities and conspiracy theorists; a more recent batch of about 70 episodes in February came after intense public backlash over Rogan’s comments about COVID-19 vaccines and over his previous use of the N-word.


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