Joe Rogan apologizes for past n-word use: ‘I’m not a racist’
(NEXSTAR) Controversial commentator Joe Rogan has apologized after a compilation video of him using the n-word on his Spotify podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience” resurfaced. The viral clip(s) follow a tumultuous two weeks for the 54-year-old, who was convicted for what many see as helping to spread misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.
“I’m making this video to talk about the most regrettable and shameful thing I’ve ever had to speak about publicly,” Rogan said on Instagram Saturday. “It’s a video made out of clips taken out of context from 12 years of conversations on my podcast and it’s all mixed up and it looks f—— awful even to me.”
Rogan said he understands that for most people “there is no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word” and now agrees with the position.
“I haven’t said it in years,” Rogan added, saying he thought the context (like quoting black comedians) made it right.
During Saturday’s video, Rogan explained, “That’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of that now.” Rogan stressed that he was “not racist,” but said that “Anytime you’re in a situation where you have to say ‘I’m not racist’, you screw up. And I clearly f—– up.
Some Spotify users have noticed that up to 70 past episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience” have disappeared from the platform, although The Washington Post notes that some have speculated that those episodes may contain the n-word.
The Washington Post contacted Rogan and Spotify for comment, but did not hear back.
Many of Rogan’s comments on COVID-19 have been criticized, sparking a debate over censorship and the liability of platforms for the content they host. Nearly 300 medical professionals sent an open letter to Spotify urging the company to tackle misinformation about Rogan’s show. Among their complaints are Rogan’s promotion of the antiparasitic ivermectin to treat COVID-19 (a use neither endorsed by the Federal Drug Administration nor supported by scientific evidence) and a guest appearance by skeptical Dr. Robert Malone. vaccine controversy.
The problem came to a head in late January, when rocker Neil Young gave Spotify an ultimatum: delete Rogan or delete his music. The streaming giant removed Young’s catalog, prompting “Delete Spotify” to become a social media trend as many users canceled their accounts. Other artists, including Joni Mitchell, have also chosen to rip their music.
Meanwhile, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said last weekend that the company will alert listeners to any podcast episode discussing COVID-19 and direct them to Spotify’s COVID-19 hub. Ek said the hub provides “data-driven facts, up-to-date information shared by scientists, doctors, academics and public health authorities around the world, and links to trusted sources.”
Spotify’s platform rules have also been updated to reflect that misleading medical information would not be permitted, including “the assertion that AIDS, COVID-19, cancer or other serious illness putting life-threatening are either a hoax or are not real”. Content suggesting approved vaccines are intended to cause harm or death is also no longer tolerated, the company said.
For his part, Rogan says he has no intention of promoting misinformation, saying, “All I’ve ever tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people .”
“The Joe Rogan Experience”, available exclusively on Spotify, was the most listened to podcast in the world in 2021. Spotify lost more than $2 billion in market value amid these incidents.
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