While some shudder at the thought of scandals and controversies, others believe that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Being surrounded by media frenzy for using the N-word and bringing in anti-vax guests on his podcast seems to have helped Joe Rogan bag over two million subscribers on his Spotify podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’. 

In an audio-based episode aired on Friday, Rogan responded to the recent outcry. 

“You have been put through the wringer since we last met,” said British author and political commentator Douglas Murray. 

“They did a number on you. Wow,” Murray added. 

Also Read: Spotify CEO seeks balance between creative expression, safety amid protests

Calling the subscriber spike “crazy”, Rogan said- “It’s interesting, my subscriptions went up massively, that’s what’s crazy.”

“During the height of it all, I gained two million subscribers … Yeah, [the media] went for it. It’s also fortunate that the people who went for it were CNN. They’re so untrustworthy and people know how biased they are and socially weird their anchors are,” the 54-year-old added. 

Also Read: Dwayne Johnson stands in support of Joe Rogan, says ‘great stuff brother’

During the episode, Rogan slammed CNN for falsely claiming that he had taken “horse dewormer” when he was down with COVID-19. He then ridiculed CNN’s short-lived streaming service which was suspended after just three weeks. 

“They spent $300 million dollars, they got 10,000 subscribers,” he said. 

“Imagine the hubris of thinking that something that people don’t want for free … that you’re going to charge money for it,” Rogan added.

Although Spotify does not reveal JRE’s subscriber count, sources believe that the podcast has been consistently growing and the recent controversies have not necessarily impacted its listenership. According to an estimate, Rogan usually amasses about 11 million listeners in each episode. 

Rogan’s recent controversies have resulted in several musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulling their music from Spotify as a way to protest.