Joe Rogan Calls N-Word Backlash “A Political Hit Job” on Latest Episode

In a new episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan discussed his use of the N-word and called the Spotify boycotting “a political hit job”.

The Joe Rogan and Spotify controversy keeps getting messier. Just days after Spotify issued an internal apology for Rogan’s use of the n-word on the JRE podcast, he addressed the circulating clip of him saying the racial epithet in a new episode on Tuesday.

“That video had always been out there. It’s like, this is a political hit job,” Rogan said. “And so they’re taking all this stuff I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together.”

Rogan also expressed that the clip was a “relief”: “It’s good because it makes me address some shit that I really wish wasn’t out there.”

Rogan’s guest was fellow stand-up comedian and actor Akaash Singh who shared that he was proud of Rogan’s apology.

“Real life is people who know you, and you’re a great guy. “We’ve all said some wild shit, and you apologized, and owned that it’s wrong, good for you,” Singh said.

Rogan added, “I do think you have to be very careful to not apologize for nonsense.” He then mentioned Awkwafina who tweeted a statement over the weekend about allegedly using a ‘blaccent’.

“They were saying it was a ‘blaccent,’ which is — come on, man,” Rogan said.

On February 5th, Rogan posted a clip on Instagram apologizing for using the n-word and that the circulating clip was taken out of context.

“Whenever you’re in a situation where you have to say, ‘I’m not racist,’ you fucked up, and I clearly have fucked up,” he said, expressing that using the n-word was “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”

While JRE has not been cancelled by Spotify, the platform has removed 113 episodes of the podcast.

On Sunday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sent an internal memo condemning Rogan’s comments, but that he didn’t believe in “silencing” him.

“While some might want us to pursue a different path, I believe that more speech on more issues can be highly effective in improving the status quo and enhancing the conversation altogether,” Ek said in the statement.

Despite initially sharing Rogan’s n-word clip on social media, India Arie accepted Rogan’s apology regarding using the racial slur on JRE. During an appearance on Don Lemon Tonight, Arie said she doesn’t think Rogan is racist, just “insensitive” for using the word on his podcast.

“I’ve heard many episodes of his podcast. When I learned about his language, I just tuned out on my own,” she said.

Don Lemon then asked Arie if she would feel better about Rogan if he advocated for musicians to have better pay on streaming apps like Spotify.

“It would be a beautiful thing,” Arie said. “I don’t expect that fully but I have to say, I did think he did a fine job with his apology. He said a lot of things I would want someone to say.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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