While Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and other musicians cited Covid and vaccine misinformation from Joe Rogan‘s podcast as their reason for pulling their music off Spotify, India.Arie also pointed out that she finds “Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his COVID interviews… FOR ME IT’S ALSO HIS language around race.” She went on to post an Instagram Story highlight collecting video of Rogan using the n-word numerous times on his show, as well as referring to a Black neighborhood as “Planet of the Apes.” “He shouldn’t even be uttering the word,” India.Arie said. “Don’t even say it, under any context. Don’t say it. That’s where I stand. I have always stood there.”
Spotify has now removed over 70 episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience from their service, including episodes featuring interviews with Tool’s Maynard James Keenan, Bill Burr, Marc Maron, Iliza Shlesinger, Amy Schumer, Andy Dick, Kevin Smith, Dave Attell, and others. A reason was not given for the removal, and representatives for Rogan and Spotify didn’t respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone. Rogan did, however, post another lengthy video on his instagram, apologizing for his use of the n-word, and calling it the “most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”
“I haven’t said [the n-word] in years, but for a long time, when it came up in conversation, instead of saying ‘the n-word,’ I would just say the word,” Rogan continued. “I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing.”
Rogan went on to say that he had been quoting Richard Pryor, Paul Mooney, or Lenny Bruce at times when using the word, but that his understanding has changed. “It’s a very unusual word, but it’s not my word to use, he said. “I’m well aware of that now, but for years I used it in that manner. I never used it to be racist, cause I’m not racist. But whenever you’re in a situation where you have to say I’m not racist, you fucked up, and I clearly have fucked up.”
“I’ve said a lot of fucking stupid shit,” he went on, “which is fine when you’re talking about most things, but not when you’re talking about race.”
Rogan said it “makes me sick watching that video,” and continued, “I do hope that this can be a teachable moment for anybody that doesn’t realize how offensive that word can be coming out of a white person’s mouth, in context or out of context.”
Watch his video statement in full below.