On Saturday, Joe Rogan apologized on Instagram after a video of him using the n-word regularly on his podcast went newsy on social media.
The comedian, 54, who has a lucrative deal with Spotify, called it the “most regretful and ashamed thing” he has ever had to talk about but added that the clips were “ripped out of context.”
Rogan has recently been under fire for spreading false information about the coronavirus on his massively famous podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
Rogan used the term more than 20 times in the excerpts from several podcast episodes, claiming that they were accumulated over a 12-year period. Rogan claimed it’s the “most regretful and ashamed thing” he’s ever had to confront publicly in his apology.
“I understand that for most people, there is no setting in which a White person is ever allowed to say that, let alone openly on a podcast,” he stated. “It’s something I haven’t stated in years,” Rogan continued.
Rogan also responded to a video in which he compared a Black neighborhood to a Planet of the Apes film. “I would never, ever, ever, ever want to upset someone for the sake of entertainment with anything as ridiculous as racism,” he stated.
Spotify’s Reaction to the Controversy
Now, because it is the exclusive distributor of Rogan’s successful program, Spotify, one of the most extensive streaming services globally, is under a lot of pressure.
A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment on whether the company will pursue Rogan.
However, a source close to the situation told CNN Business that the company had contacted Rogan’s crew about concerns regarding some of his previous shows.
According to the tracking site jremissing.com, Spotify appeared to have erased more than 70 episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast on Friday.
According to the source, Rogan decided to erase select old episodes in conjunction with his apologies.
According to last year’s report from The New York Times, Spotify’s payout rate to musical artists is estimated to be a half-cent per stream, a rate that is frequently split between record labels and artists.
On January 25, Neil Young became the first recording artist to request removed his music from the platform. Soon after, he was joined by Joni Mitchell, and an increasing list of musicians and celebrities joined them in criticizing Spotify or abandoning it outright. The popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which has propagated Covid-19 vaccination disinformation, is only available on Spotify.
In response to the backlash, Spotify stated it would include a content advisory to any podcast episode that discusses Covid-19, not just Rogan’s, which Rogan has indicated he supports.
In a statement earlier this week, CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek said, “It’s become evident to me that we need to do more to give balance and access to widely-accepted knowledge from the medical and scientific communities leading us through this unique period.”
What Do the Other Artists Have to Say?
After Covid-19 misinformation was aired on Rogan’s show, singer-songwriter India Arie was among several musicians who requested that their music be pulled from Spotify, and she shared a compilation of Rogan using the n-word on her Instagram account.
While she sympathizes with artists who requested that their content be removed due to Covid-19’s inaccuracy, she also expressed her displeasure with his racial comments.
Arie stated that Rogan “shouldn’t even be uttering the phrase.” “Under no circumstances should you say it. Don’t say anything. That is my position. I’ve always been there.”
On Instagram, Arie used the hashtag #DeleteSpotify to reach out to her almost 1 million followers.
“They take all this money from streaming and pay this guy $100 million, but they only pay us.003 percent of a penny,” Arie said on Instagram. “Simply remove me from the equation. I don’t want to make money to pay for it.”
In response to the outrage, Spotify said that any podcast episode that addresses Covid-19 would have a content alert, not just Rogan’s, which Rogan has stated he supports.
“It’s become apparent to me that we have a responsibility to do more to offer balance and access to widely-accepted expertise from the medical and scientific communities leading us through this unique moment,” CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek said in a statement earlier this week.
He said, “I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do about it… I sincerely hope that this can be used as an educational opportunity because I never imagined it would be taken misconstrue and used in a film like that.”
In his apology, Rogan stated that he is “not racist.”
“Whenever you have to claim, ‘I’m not racist,’ you f**ked up, and I certainly have,” Rogan remarked.
In a deleted podcast, Rogan addressed a video showing him comparing a Black neighborhood in Philadelphia to a “Planet of the Apes” film, stating he was attempting to suggest they were in Africa because “there are many Black people there.” Rogan acknowledged that “Planet of the Apes” did not occur in Africa.
“I would never, ever, ever, ever want to upset someone for the sake of amusement with anything as idiotic as racism,” Rogan stated.
Rogan discussed race with guest Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist, and climate change denier, in a recent podcast episode. Rogan felt it was absurd to name someone Black or White based on their skin tone after a lengthy discussion on the “spectrum of hues of individuals.”
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