Late Friday night, Joe Rogan, the controversial host of Spotify’s most popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, took to Instagram to post a nearly six-minute apology concerning a recently released montage video of Rogan using the N-word.
Calling it “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly,” he said that the compilation is made of “clips taken out of context” from 12 years of his podcast. He added that “it looks fucking horrible, even to me.”
Additionally, he said that he understood that “to most people there is no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast.” He said he now shares that view, and does not use the word currently, even when having a conversation about the word.
He went on to say that he had used the word in the past while discussing the comedy of Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor, as well as during a conversation about the Netflix executive Jonathan Friedland, who was fired for using the word in an office setting. He said he had never used the word with the intent to be racist, but admitted that anyone who ever has to publicly defend themself about being racist “clearly fucked up.”
“Holy shit, it looks bad,” he reiterated, before declaring that “I’ve said a lot of fucking stupid shit” over the 12-year run of his show. He then apologized for telling an offensive story on an old episode, which has since been deleted, about seeing Planet of the Apes in a Black neighborhood. “I felt like I was in Africa,” Rogan had said at the time. The resurfaced clip was posted to Instagram Stories by artist India.Arie, who then announced that she was removing her work from Spotify.
Here is Rogan’s video in full.
The new controversy may prevent Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who had earlier voiced interest in appearing on the show, from going through with the booking. Author Don Winslow alerted the wrestler-turned-actor to the recent revelations on Twitter.
Rogan’s apology comes during a near-monthlong period of intense scrutiny concerning his podcast, controversial guests who have made spurious comments concerning Covid-19, and the show’s exclusive deal with Spotify, reportedly worth more than $100 million.
On December 31 of last year, Rogan hosted Dr. Robert Malone, banned from Twitter for making unfounded pronouncements about Covid-19, who posited a since-debunked “mass formation psychosis” theory concerning public-health protocols, and compared the current climate to that of Nazi Germany. The episode has since been removed from YouTube.