Joe Rogan has issued an apology for his past use of the n-word calling his behavior “the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”
The 54-year-old comedian and podcaster, who has already fallen into hot water for Covid misinformation on his Spotify platform, addressed his use of the racial slur multiple times in past podcasts.
He shared a five-minute Instagram apology Saturday in response to a video compilation that surfaced stitching together the occasions in which he said the n-word.
“It’s a video that’s made of clips taken out of context of me of 12 years of conversations on my podcast. It’s all smushed together and it looks f—— horrible, even to me,” Rogan said.
He explained that though he used the n-word word in the past, he hasn’t used the slur “in years.”
“I know that to most people, there’s 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,” Rogan said.
“But for a long time when I would bring that word up, like if it would come up in conversation, instead of saying ‘the n-word’ I would just say the word. I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing,” he added.
He claimed he used the slur citing how it was used by other figures, explaining one of the times he said the word was in reference to comedian Redd Foxx using the n-word on TV in the 70’s. On another occasion he used it in reference to Richard Pryor’s album title, he said.
Rogan noted, “I never used it to be racist.”
“It’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of that now, but for years I used it in that manner,” he said.
Rogan said though he can’t take his past use of the racist word back, “I do hope that this can be a teachable moment.”
“My sincere and humble apologies, I wish there was more that I could say. All of this is just me talking from the bottom of my heart. Makes me sick watching that video,” Rogan said. “Hopefully some you will accept this and understand where I’m coming from.”
Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast hosted on Spotify has been the center of controversy and the target of criticism from celebrities and medical professionals alike, for promoting misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines.
Stars like singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and Neil Young have pulled their music from the platform in protest of vaccine misinformation being shared on Spotify.
In response to the backlash the streaming service announced it would add a content advisory to any podcast episode that discusses the coronavirus.
Rogan defended himself last week, vowing to “try harder” to offer more of a balance on his podcast.
“I’m not trying to promote misinformation. I’m not trying to be controversial,” he said. “I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations.”
Rogan signed a $100 million deal giving Spotify exclusive rights to his show in 2020. His program reaches an estimated 11 million listeners per episode.