Just this past week, Joe Rogan asked Spotify why they were intent on editing his podcasts, yet when it came to controversial and highly-explicit lyrics on the platform, the company did not do anything. Many Jewish groups are asking the same question, as anti-semitic material is promoted throughout the platform.
In the past few weeks, a group of Spotify employees had been demanding editorial oversight for the Joe Rogan podcast, as he was lassoed into a Spotify deal for over $100 million. Rogan has also been subject to a number of internal attacks from various activist groups, including those who believe that some of his guests and viewpoints are transphobic.
Spotify already got rid of a few podcast episodes during the migration, which involved a few controversial guests. We’re still unsure whether there will be more editing in the process. It should be noted that Rogan has pushed back on demands to continue editing his podcasts, though.
Rogan stated in a recent interview, “If you have a problem with people saying terrible s—t and you work for Spotify, maybe you should listen to some of the lyrics.”
Rogan was referring to some of Spotify’s promotion of extreme gangsta rap, such as Ice-T’s ‘Cop Killer’ and a number of N.W.A. tracks. There are also many Jewish groups who have been asking Spotify to consider some of the anti-semitic rap lyrics on the platform as well, though they have yet to receive a response from Spotify.
One week ago, the Simon Weisenthal Center wrote a letter to Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, to discuss anti-semitic lyrics used in songs by Freeze Corleone, a popular French rapper.
The letter was written by Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Weisenthal Center’s director for international relations and pointed out some of the obvious social media posts and anti-semitic lyrics from the rapper, which included praise for the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler himself. Some of the lyrics even pointed at Holocaust denial.
The letter read,
“Mr. Ek, we urge you to remove Freeze Corleone’s raps from Spotify, thus evoking awareness in Sweden and beyond that malicious hatred can kill and is not ‘freedom of expression.”
As of now, daniel Ek has not responeded, nor have any of his Spotify employees.
Samuels is not the only one looking to combat Freeze Corleone, though. Just this past month, the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism criticised the repeated instances of blatant racism from the rapper, whose music is available on numerous streaming platforms, including Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, and more.
Some of his lyrics read,
“Build an empire like young Adolf, determined with great ambitions like young Adolf”
“I arrive determined like Adolf in the 30s”
To be clear, Spotify isn’t just letting this rapper continue using the platform, they are actively promoting his music. He can be found on top charts in France and Belgium, as well as Spotify-curated rap playlists.
Freeze Corleone has since been dropped by Universal Music Group and is under investigation from the French Interior Minister, all of which brings into question the “activism” from Spotify employees.