Joe Rogan Apologizes for Past Use of Racial Slur

Spotify also removed dozens of episodes of his podcast

Joe Rogan
Commentator Joe Rogan during the UFC 209 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It’s been less than a week since Joe Rogan addressed the appearance of COVID misinformation on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. It’s not yet clear if that will be enough to win over the numerous artists who have had their music removed from Spotify in protest of the streaming service’s deal with Rogan. But that’s not the only thing about Rogan that’s causing artists to distance themselves from Spotify.

India.Arie announced that she was exiting Spotify due to Rogan’s comments on race over the years. The songwriter went on to post a video compiling 24 instances of Rogan using the n-word in past episodes.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Rogan took to Instagram to address the video and apologize for his past behavior. In his message, he referred to it as “the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”

Rogan stated that he hadn’t used the racial slur in years, and when he had done so in the past, he was quoting someone else or using it in a related context. He also stated that he no longer feels that he should use the word in question. “Now I know that to most people there’s no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast,” Rogan said. “And I agree with that now.”

“I haven’t said it in years. But for a long time when I would bring that word up, like if it would come up in conversation, instead of saying the n-word I would just say the word,” he continued. “I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing.”

“I never used it to be racist because I’m not racist,” he added. “But whenever you’re in a situation where you have to say ‘I’m not racist,’ you’ve f*cked up. And I clearly have f*cked up.”

Rogan went on to say that watching the compilation “makes me sick” and apologized repeatedly. “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,” he said.

It’s unclear if the compilation of clips of Rogan using a racial slur led Spotify to remove 70 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience. Rolling Stone‘s report on the episodes’ removal notes that Reddit users found that “many of the deleted episodes contained racial slurs, ableist language and other content that could be deemed insensitive.”

But it begs the question: if Spotify was able to do this this quickly, it seems likely that they had those episodes flagged. And if they had them flagged, why did it take a public outcry to get them removed?

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