Joe Rogan apologizes for racial slur after video surfaces

Spotify’s popular U.S. podcaster Joe Rogan apologized Saturday after a video compilation surfaced that showed him using a racial slur in clips of episodes over a 12-year span.

In a video posted on his Instagram account, Rogan, who hosts a podcast called “The Joe Rogan Experience,” said his use of the slur was the “most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.” But he said the clips were “taken out of context.”

“It’s not my word to use. I am well aware of that now, but for years I used it in that manner,” he said during the six-minute video on his Instagram account. “I never used it to be racist because I’m not racist.”

Rogan’s mea culpa follows Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter India.Arie’s announcement on Thursday that she was removing her music from the Spotify streaming service because of the racial slur that Rogan had made during his podcasts. She posted the video montage of Rogan’s clips on her Instagram account. Rogan, who launched his podcast in late 2009, didn’t specify which years he used the racial slur.

In her video, Arie said even if some of Rogan’s conversations were taken out of context, “he shouldn’t be uttering the word.”

“Don’t even say it under any context,” she added.

Rogan’s message Saturday addressed a video a clip from his podcast 11 years ago in which he talked about going to a movie theater in a Black neighborhood to see “Planet of the Apes”.

“I was trying to make the story entertaining, and I said we got out and it was like we were in Africa. It’s like we were in ‘Planet of the Apes.’,” Rogan said. He said he wasn’t trying to be racist but realized it was “an idiotic thing” to say. He said he deleted the podcast but that someone must have saved the clip.

Rogan’s apology comes as Spotify is promising to combat the spread of COVID-19 misinformation as part of a damage-control campaign sparked by musician Neil Young, who called out the streaming service’s top podcaster for magnifying vaccine skepticism.

Last Sunday, Spotify said it will soon add a warning before all podcasts that discuss COVID-19, directing listeners to factual, up-to-date information from scientists and public health experts. The company also aims to bolster transparency about its publishing decisions by laying out the rules it uses to protect users’ safety.

Spotify garnered 31% of the 524 million worldwide music stream subscriptions in the second quarter of 2021, more than double that of second-place Apple Music, according to Midia Research. Spotify isn’t always popular with musicians, many of whom complain that it doesn’t pay them enough for their work.

Arie said on her video that Spotify is built on the back of the music streaming business and that it uses that money to reward Rogan in a lucrative deal. She said she doesn’t want to generate money that pays for the podcaster.

“Just take me off,” she said.

Spotify didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.


2 thoughts on “Joe Rogan apologizes for racial slur after video surfaces”

  1. The posted “violators” of the woke haters must be evaluated with the media approval of the filthy lyrics and comments of blacks in the rap field and beyond. To compare 10-20 year old comments of white personalities to such accepted foul and derogatory utterances of black’s in the lime light is totally irresponsible and wrong.

  2. George Hotchkiss

    Huh, Mr. Steele have you ever used the N-word, I haven’t. I was born Caucasian so, I would have no reason to be using the word unless I want to injure a person of color. If two persons of color want to call each other that, they are not using it as a slur but a way reaffirming brotherhood. So, if you are trying to excuse away Mr. Rogan’s, at best, extremely poor judgement with “To compare 10-20 year old comments of white personalities to such accepted foul and derogatory utterances of black’s in the lime light is totally irresponsible and wrong”, you are truly missing the point. My wife is a teacher if Johnny takes cuts at the drinking fountain, the teacher is not going to buy “but Billy did it first” as an excuse.

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