India.Arie Shares Alarming Compilation Of Joe Rogan Repeatedly Using The N-Word

The Spotify podcaster apologized for using the slur after India.Arie posted the video to illustrate why she's pulling her music from the platform.

India.Arie drove home why she decided to pull her content from Spotify, sharing a disturbing video compilation on Friday showing Joe Rogan, who hosts a controversial podcast on the streaming platform, repeatedly using the N-word on his show over the years.

The Grammy winner filmed herself in a since-expired Instagram story discussing her decision to end her association with Spotify, sharing a clip of Rogan saying the N-word on numerous occasions on his show, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which launched in 2009.

Rogan responded on Saturday with his own video on Instagram apologizing for repeatedly using the racist slur on his podcast after the video compilation made its rounds on the internet.

He referred to the viral clip as “the most regretful and shameful that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”

“It’s a video that’s made of clips taken out of context of me of 12 years of conversations on my podcast, and it’s all smooshed together, and it looks fucking horrible, even to me,” he says in the video.

India.Arie had initially announced on Tuesday that she would be pulling her music and podcast from the company after Neil Young, and then others, denounced Rogan for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic on the platform.

India.Arie noted at the time that Rogan was also “problematic” for reasons other than his show’s coronavirus-related content, pointing to his “language around race.”

In her Friday Instagram story, India.Arie noted that she empathizes “with the people who are leaving for the COVID disinformation reasons” and that she also thinks that Rogan has “the right to say what he wants to say.”

But the singer pointed out that she, too, has the right to express her beliefs and doesn’t want her music streamed on a platform that has signed an exclusive licensing deal with someone who regularly spouts racist language.

“Spotify is built on the back of the music streaming, so they take this money that’s built from streaming and they pay this guy $100 million but they pay us 0.003% of a penny?” she says in the clip.

Spotify announced in May 2020 that it had signed a multiyear exclusive licensing deal to stream “The Joe Rogan Experience” on its platform. The company did not disclose any monetary figures at the time, but The Wall Street Journal had reported that the deal was worth more than $100 million, citing an unnamed source.

In Rogan’s apology Saturday, he acknowledged that there’s “no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word” ― especially on a wide-reaching podcast ― and that he understands that argument now.

But one of the clips in question was filmed as recently as 2018, in which Rogan discussed the firing of Netflix’s former chief communications officer Jonathan Friedland, who used the N-word on at least two occasions during meetings with staffers.

Rogan cited that clip in his apology video, sharing it as an example of how the racist slur would sometimes “come up in conversation” on his podcast.

He also addressed another clip from his podcast, in which he discussed going to see a “Planet of the Apes” movie in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

In the clip, Rogan can be heard saying that stepping into the movie theater was like walking into “Planet of the Apes.”

“We walked into Africa, dude,” he said. “There was no white people.”

He later admitted in the video that that was a “racist thing for me to say,” saying that “‘Planet of the Apes’ didn’t take place in Africa.” He then insisted it was a “positive experience.”

The clip was filmed in 2013, according to The New York Times.

Rogan denied that he was referring to Black people as apes in his video on Saturday, saying that it “wasn’t a racist story but it sounded terrible.”

Spotify did not immediately return a request for comment on the video compilation of Rogan.

The streaming platform’s CEO Daniel Ek addressed the controversy surrounding Rogan in an external press release published on Sunday, and in a speech to employees shared by The Verge on Thursday.

In his speech, Ek said there were a number of Rogan’s episodes that are not on the platform since they violate the company’s rules. He also said: “There are many things that Joe Rogan says that I strongly disagree with and find very offensive.”

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