Headlining a small comedy show in Austin, Texas, Joe Rogan took to the stage to speak about the recent controversy surrounding him and his podcast on Spotify, and comment on the recently circulated video compilation of him using the n-word on his show.
“I used to say it if [I was talking about] a Richard Pryor bit or something, I would say it in context,” Rogan said. “Somebody made a compilation of every time I said that word over 14 years and they put it on YouTube, and it turned out that was racist as f**k. Even to me! I’m me and I’m watching it saying, ‘Stop saying it!’ I put my cursor over the video and I’m like, ‘Four more minutes?!’”
Rogan added that he hadn’t used the word in years, before saying he found it “kind of weird, people will get really mad if you use that word and tweet about it on a phone that’s made by slaves.”
The number one podcast host then addressed the other major controversy surrounding his show – the alleged Covid and vaccine misinformation.
“I talk shit for a living — that’s why this is so baffling to me,” he said. “If you’re taking vaccine advice from me, is that really my fault? What dumb shit were you about to do when my stupid idea sounded better? ‘You know that dude who made people eat animal dicks on TV? How does he feel about medicine?’ If you want my advice, don’t take my advice.”
After the show, Rogan held a brief Q&A with the audience, where one fan asked if he would accept the recent $100-million offer to move his show onto Rumble, but the host said he’ll stay where he is for now: “No, Spotify has hung in with me, inexplicably, let’s see what happens.”
In a recent episode with comic Akaash Singh, Rogan has decried the controversy surrounding him as “a political hit job” saying that the video of him saying the n-word had always been out there and was being used now for political reasons. “They’re taking all this stuff I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together. It’s good because it makes me address some stuff that I really wish wasn’t out there.”
Rogan also responded to criticism leveled against him by former US president Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who said Rogan shouldn’t have apologized to the mob. “You should apologize if you regret something,” said Rogan, adding that “I do think you have to be careful not to apologize for nonsense.”
Earlier, Rogan published two apology videos for the controversy surrounding his podcast and partnership with Spotify, saying his use of the n-word was “the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”
The row started a few weeks ago when musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell decided to pull their music from Spotify, accusing the company of allowing Rogan to spread “deadly Covid misinformation” and demanding the platform part ways with the host.
Since then, many have weighed in on the controversy, with some backing Joe Rogan while others have joined the calls for his cancellation.
Spotify has so far responded by removing over 100 episodes of his show The Joe Rogan Experience from the platform, with the presenter reportedly selecting 70 of them personally. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has, however, refused to part ways with the podcast host, saying “I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope.”