Podcast host Joe Rogan has been under public scrutiny since Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, India.Arie and Mary Trump pulled their material from the streaming platform due to Rogan’s alleged “misinformation” about COVID-19 vaccines. Adding insult to injury, video of Rogan repeatedly using the “N-word” surfaced online, calling his character into question.
Spotify’s Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek addressed Rogan’s past use of racial slurs on Sunday night (February 6), telling staff in a memo he found the comments “incredibly hurtful” and inconsistent with company values but didn’t believe “silencing” Rogan would solve anything, according to CNN.
But Ek isn’t the only one in Rogan’s corner. On Monday (February 7), Rap-A-Lot Records founder J. Prince came to Rogan’s defense while reiterating it’s absolutely not OK for a White person to use the slur — even with an “a” at the end.
“Joe Rogan is not a racist,” he wrote. “I know this brother. It takes a sincere individual to admit when they are wrong and have fucked up about a situation. As you can hear he’s done that and I forgive him because I never want to become one of those people that are filled with un-forgiveness and hate, that we complain about all the time.
“Let this be an example to others of the sensitivity of the word ‘n-gga’ being said by anybody other than a n-gga lol.”
Joe Rogan used the derogatory word more than 20 times in the clips from several different podcast episodes, which he said were compiled over a 12-year span. In his apology video, Rogan said it’s the “most regretful and shameful thing” he’s ever had to address publicly.
“I know that to most people, there’s no context where a White person is ever allowed to say that, never mind publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that,” he said. “Now, I haven’t said it in years. I certainly would never want to offend someone for entertainment with something as stupid as racism.”
On Friday (February 4), tracking site JRE Missing determined Spotify had removed more than 70 episodes Rogan’s podcast, many at Rogan’s request.
R&B singer Indie.Arie said her decision to remove her music from Spotify in the wake of the Rogan controversy wasn’t based solely on the COVID-19 debacle.
“I have decided to pull my music and podcast from Spotify,” she wrote. “Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through. I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews… FOR ME ITS ALSO HIS language around race. What I am talking about is RESPECT – who gets it and who doesn’t.”