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"I wish I hadn't said": Joe Rogan apologizes for using the N-word on stream as Spotify pulls over 70 episodes of his podcast

Joe Rogan apologizes amid N-word controversy (Images via Spotify, joerogan/Instagram)
Joe Rogan apologizes amid N-word controversy (Images via Spotify, joerogan/Instagram)
Vibha Hegde

Joe Rogan has released a nearly six-minute lengthy apology video on his Instagram account following a wave of recent backlash.

The tension started brewing after Rogan was called out for allegedly spreading COVID-19 misinformation through his podcast. Singer India Arie brought to attention a compilation clip of the podcast host repeating the N-word numerous times throughout his career.

Simultaneously, 70 episodes of Rogan's podcast were removed, although it is unclear if they were due to his N-word usage. Regarding his use of the slur, Rogan said:

"There’s been a lot of s**t from the old episodes of the podcast that I wish I hadn’t said, or had said differently. This is my take on the worst of it."

Joe Rogan regrets usage of the N-word

A clip compilation of Rogan uttering the racial slur in multiple instances over the years has surfaced online. It immediately went viral, causing the podcast host to personally address it on Instagram.

Rogan started the video with:

"Hello friends. I'm making this video to talk about the most regretful and shameful thing I've ever had to talk about publicly."

He acknowledged the existence of the clips, claiming they were taken "out of context" and from over "12 years of conversations" on his podcast. He thought that it would be fine if the N-word was used in a specific context. But later discovered that was not the case.

Rogan then added context for his use of the N-word as highlighted by the compilation of clips:

"Part of the clip we were talking about Red Fox, how Red Fox said that word on television in the 1970's and how times have changed so much since then. Or about how Richard Pryor used it as one of the titles for one of his albums. Or I was quoting a Lenny Bruce bit, or I was quoting a Paul Mooney bit.."

Rogan claimed that he understands "now" that the N-word is "not (his) word to use." He emphasized that he is not racist but agrees that a situation where he needs to make this statement proves that he has made a mistake.

The podcast host also touched upon a clip where he's heard narrating a personal anecdote and ends up comparing the experience of being in a black neighborhood to Planet of the Apes. Rogan also apologized for this.

Before Rogan's apology went up, around 70 episodes of his podcast were removed from Spotify. This came after the host's N-word clip compilation went viral. However, there is no confirmation of a co-relation between the compilation going viral and Spotify's decision.

All of the clips addressed by Joe Rogan were brought to the general public's attention by American singer India Arie, who uploaded them to her Instagram story.

She said she was removing her music from Spotify to support artists standing against Rogan's alleged spread of misinformation on COVID-19 through his podcast. She also stated that his language on race concerned her significantly.


Internet comments on Joe Rogan's apology for his use of the N-word

Comments under Rogan's post seemed generally supportive, with many claiming that this was an "attack" on him to tarnish his reputation and disagreeing with his move to apologize.

Screenshot via joerogan/Instagram
Screenshot via joerogan/Instagram

Others were not as quick to accept his apology. Many cited his Planet of the Apes anecdote and the late realization of his wrongdoing as reasons for their non-acceptance of his apology. One user uploaded more clips of Joe Rogan using the racial slur with the context provided.

Joe Rogan saying the N word in context. The worst is him prodding his guest to say it then laughing. https://t.co/zL5zkswaRX
Joe Rogan logged into his dogs Instagram account to like his apology video for saying the n word a million times lol lmao https://t.co/XVvg6RVeuY
Joe Rogan's casual use of the "N" word was bad enough. That story about Planet of the Apes leaves zero doubt about his racist views. That's the kind of thing I used to hear in the 1960's in Mississippi. Completely beyond the pale.
What Joe Rogan did is not an “apology,” and besides, no one asked for his apology. What is needed is accountability, and mostly from his publisher. Spotify chose to give this man a $100 million contract. Knowing his frequent use of the n word with a hard r. Sit with that.
Right wing hero Joe Rogan used the N word and said African American neighborhoods were like "planet of the apes" I'm not surprised. Are you?
Joe Rogan is apologizing for using the N word over 20 times on his podcasts! He once used Planet of the Apes to compare a black neighborhood. #JoeRogan said its the most regretful & shameful thing hes ever had to address. Thank U #IndiaArie for highlighting this. #DeleteSpotify
Joe Rogan just now realizing that there's no excuse for ever using the N word sounds about white
lmao Joe Rogan apologized for using the n word on instagram and most of the comments are white guys saying “we support you brother, much love”
I would like white people to understand that there is no such thing as taking your use of the N word out of context.
I just watched the Rogan apology.As a Black man, I'm technically allowed to use "the N word." I don't, because it is repugnant. The whole Planet of the Apes thing takes me back to 70s and 80s racism.Hard to forgive that, regardless of the context in which it was said.

The latest drama surrounding Joe Rogan began after Neil Young announced that he would be removing his music from Spotify, owing to the host allegedly spreading COVID-19 misinformation on his podcast.

Young's decision prompted an online movement where users would their Spotify subscriptions and delete the app from their devices. Other artists also followed suit, removing their music from the platform.

India Arie was one singer who sided with Young. Her post and stories regarding Rogan blew up, bringing his usage of the N-word in its complete form to the public's attention.


Edited by Srijan Sen

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