During a podcast episode, Joe Budden repeatedly made comments about her clothing and gave her an inappropriate hug.
On Monday Olivia Dope, a former co-host of the See, the Thing Is podcast of the Joe Budden Podcast network, accused the 40-year-old of sexual harassment. Olivia even provided documentation of multiple podcast episodes that had to be heavily edited due to Budden’s repeated inappropriate comments.
“At 14:34 [minute mark],” she explained, “there’s an edit in the recording because Joe says [he] and I should speak more, because ‘he’s been wanting to f— me since we met.’ Everyone in the studio, including production staff, laughed uncomfortably while one of my co-hosts confirmed that to be true.”
On another episode, Olivia says Budden calls her a b—- because she didn’t hit a sound effect button quick enough. Later in the episode, Olivia said Budden commented that “the shirt that I’m wearing isn’t buttoned like I’m single. I pause, cover my chest with my hand, and try to brush it off once again.”
On another episode of the show, Budden made another inappropriate advance. “Another edit happened because Joe makes another suggestion to having sex with me,” she continued. “That scene is edited out and what is shown right after that is me closing my eyes saying ‘No’, and then he says ‘Never mind.’”
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Another clip of the episode surfaced on Twitter, showing Budden gyrating his body while hugging Dope, which she called inappropriate.
When Olivia Dope said during the hug Joe Budden asked for, he was moving his hips I had to go see for myself.. and what the fuck. This is at the end of the podcast after making sexual comments about her throughout the episode. This is her boss??? I’d quit too pic.twitter.com/FS12BuiGVU
— astro tingz (@saturnbestie) May 17, 2021
“If you’re going to work, and [you want] to just go in and do your job, it should be just that,” she continued. “At no time should anybody feel comfortable enough to say anything of that nature to you.”
On Tuesday (May 18th), Budden released a statement to Rolling Stone apologizing to his former employee.
“As a podcaster,” he wrote, “it is my job to address topics and create dialogue around them. During the conversation on the See, The Thing Is podcast I didn’t handle the topics with the sensitivity they deserved. I recognize my words and power in that situation created an upsetting environment for Olivia. Upon reflection, both the network and I take accountability for this. I apologize sincerely to Olivia, her former co-hosts, our staff, and the public.”
Budden continued, saying the episode would soon be removed from streaming platforms.
“In an effort to not further any trauma, the episode will be removed from all platforms. We support all women’s rights to feel comfortable and protected in the workplace. We fell short of that in this instance. We support Olivia in her quest to heal, applaud her for finding the strength to share her experience, and wish her the best in all her future endeavors. I am taking the time to listen and learn; we have already begun to make the necessary changes to ensure this is a safe environment for all moving forward. We at the network endeavor to continue to elevate Black women’s voices and create opportunities to have constructive conversations to impact change.”
This story was updated on May 18th.