- India Arie said she is removing her music and podcast from Spotify.
- Arie, 46, shared video clips of Rogan, 54, saying the racial slur on his podcast.
- Neil Young and Joni Mitchell previously requested Spotify remove their music over COVID-19 misinformation.
Singer India Arie shared clips of Joe Rogan repeatedly saying the N-word on his Spotify podcast, which she said led to her demands for the
service to remove her music.
Earlier this week, India Arie announced that she decided to pull her music and podcast from Spotify’s site following Neil Young. In January, Young and singer Joni Mitchell said they wanted their music removed over COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, and cited Rogan as a proponent of disseminating false information.
“I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons other than his Covid interviews,” Arie, 46, wrote. “For me, it’s also his language around race.”
On Thursday, the Grammy Award winner returned to Instagram to further clarify her statement by sharing more than 20 clips of Rogan saying the N-word on his Spotify podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” One clip appeared to show Rogan comparing Black neighborhoods to “Planet of the Apes.”
Deadline reported that the clips, which were posted to YouTube at one time, were made before he signed his $100 million Spotify deal in 2020.
Arie then said she sympathized with artists leaving the platform over COVID-19 misinformation but focused on his racial remarks. She added that she doesn’t want to support a platform that underpays its artists, but paid Rogan a large salary.
“He shouldn’t even be uttering the word,” Arie said in another Instagram clip. “Don’t even say it, under any context. Don’t say it. That’s where I stand. I have always stood there.”
After the clips began to gain traction online, Rogan addressed them in an Instagram video on Saturday.
Rogan called the clips “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.” He said the clips Arie showed were “out of context” and amassed from “12 years of conversations.”
“It looks fucking horrible. Even to me,” he said. “I know 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. And I agree with that now, I haven’t said it in years.”
Rogan said he used the N-word when it “came up in conversation” and denied being racist.
Representatives for Arie and Rogan did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
After Young and Mitchell’s announcement in January, Prince Harry and Megan Markle — who have a multi-year deal with Spotify — urged the company to stop sharing COVID-19 misinformation in a statement. Additionally, 270 scientists and healthcare workers called on Spotify to stop COVID-19 misinformation regarding Rogan’s podcast in January.
Rogan initially addressed Young and Mitchell directly. “I’m very sorry that they feel that way. I most certainly don’t want that,” Rogan said.
He added, “I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time, and I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much heat from it.”
Ahead of Rogan’s apology, following the public criticism, Spotify appeared to quietly delete 70 of Rogan’s podcast episodes unrelated to the COVID-19 controversy.