American podcaster Joe Rogan has apologized after a compilation video emerged that showed him using a racial slur in clips from episodes spanning 12 years.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter India.Arie posted the compilation on Instagram and announced that she was removing her music from Spotify’s streaming service.
Spotify is facing growing dissatisfaction from artists over Rogan’s podcast, for which he reportedly paid more than $100m (£74m). Last month, musician Neil Young pulled his music because he feared Rogan was inflating vaccine skepticism.
In a video posted to his Instagram account, Rogan, who hosts a podcast called The Joe Rogan Experience, said his use of the N-word in the compilation released by Arie was “the most regrettable and shameful thing that I have never had to speak. publicly”. But he said the clips were “taken out of context”.
“That’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of it now, but for years I used it that way,” he said during the six-minute video on his Instagram account. “I never used it to be racist because I’m not racist.”
He did not specify which years he used the racial slur.
Rogan also addressed a clip from his podcast 11 years ago in which he talked about going to a movie theater in a black neighborhood to see Planet Of The Apes.
“I was trying to make the story entertaining, and I said we went out and it was like we were in Africa. It was like we were in Planet Of The Apes,” Rogan said.
He said he wasn’t trying to be racist but realized it was “a silly thing” to say. He said he deleted the podcast but someone had to record the clip.
In his video, Arie said that even though some of Rogan’s conversations were taken out of context, “he shouldn’t say the word.”
Rogan’s apology comes as Spotify promises to tackle the spread of Covid-19 misinformation as part of a damage control campaign unleashed by Young.
Spotify said it will soon add a disclaimer before all podcasts that discuss Covid-19, directing listeners to factual information from scientists and public health experts.
Spotify garnered 31% of the world’s 524 million music stream subscriptions in the second quarter of 2021, more than double the second place of Apple Music, according to Midia Research.
Many musicians complain that Spotify does not pay enough for their work.
Arie said on his video that Spotify is built on the back of the music streaming business and he’s using that money to reward Rogan in a lucrative deal. She said she didn’t want to generate money that pays for the podcaster.
“Just take me away,” she said.
Spotify did not immediately respond to a request for comment.