Joe Rogan apologizes for using racial slurs on past podcasts

Joe Rogan apologized on Saturday after a video of the star podcaster was released using a racial slur in previous episodes.

In an Instagram post, Mr Rogan, who hosts the popular ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ on Spotify, said he offered “my sincere and humble apologies” for what he called “the most regrettable thing and the most shameful thing I’ve ever had”. speak publicly. »

Mr. Rogan’s compilation video, shared by singer-songwriter India Arie, showed how Mr. Rogan and some of his guests used the N-word several times on his show.

Mr Rogan said the clips were taken out of context and were based on 12 years of conversations. He added that they looked “awful, even to me”.

The podcaster’s response intensifies an already-ignited debate about the influence of Mr Rogan’s show and the liability of its exclusive host, Spotify Technology SA, for its content. Ms Arie’s compilation comes as Spotify said it had been delayed in response to outcry over Mr Rogan’s shows about the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines.

“I know for most people there’s no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that, without speaking publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that,” Rogan said. , adding that he didn’t use the insult. during the last years.

“I never used it to be racist because I’m not racist,” he said. “But anytime you’re in a situation where you have to say ‘I’m not racist’, you screwed up. And I clearly screwed up. And that’s my intention of speaking in this video.

In an Instagram video post, Joe Rogan addressed the growing backlash against him and Spotify, which distributes Rogan’s podcast, stemming from accusations that his show spread false information about Covid-19 vaccines. Photo: USA Today Sports/Reuters

Representatives for Mr. Rogan and Spotify were not immediately available for comment.

Ms Arie was one of many artists who earlier this week removed their music from Spotify. She said she objected to the language Mr Rogan used regarding race and the amount of money he made from Spotify. In 2020, Mr Rogan signed an exclusive podcasting deal with Spotify worth more than $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

“The Joe Rogan Experience” is the No. 1 show in 93 markets, Spotify said. In 2021, Mr. Rogan’s show was the most-listened to podcast each month in more than 30 markets, including the United States, a person familiar with the matter said. Mr. Rogan’s listeners have increased by 75% since he joined Spotify’s platform in September 2020 through December 2021, the person said.

Mr Rogan started his show in 2009 and built up a following largely on YouTube before signing with Spotify. The platform previously removed more than 40 of its episodes for content policy violations, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Tracking site jremissing.com says the platform has removed 113 of Mr. Rogan’s episodes since Friday.

Other artists like Neil Young and then his former bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash have also said they are removing their music from Spotify in opposition to what they say is Covid-19 vaccine misinformation. broadcast by Mr. Rogan on his show.

In response, Spotify released its content policies and created notices for pandemic-related shows that direct listeners to a Covid-19 information hub.

Spotify recently announced that it had 406 million monthly active users, up 18% from the previous year. Its ad revenue, largely tied to podcasting, rose 40%.

For Mr. Rogan, the apology was his second in a week. Last Sunday, he said he aimed to be more balanced and informed about controversial topics and guests. He said his show had gotten “out of control” and said: “If I pissed you off, I’m sorry”, referring to the growing backlash against him and Spotify.

News Corp’s Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, has a content partnership with Spotify’s Gimlet Media unit.

Spotify, Neil Young and Joe Rogan

Write to Steven Russolillo at [email protected]

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