Podcast host and comedian Joe Rogan has released a lengthy statement to explain his actions as controversy surrounding his Spotify podcast – the Joe Rogan Experience – continues to grow.
The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most listened to podcasts on the planet, averaging upwards of 10 million listeners per episode.
However, since signing an exclusivity deal with Spotify back in May of 2020, the podcast in its entirety has only been available on that particular platform.
It has also become embroiled in controversy as some musicians, including Neil Young, asked the platform to remove their music because of what they deemed “public misinformation” stemming from Rogan’s podcast.
Now, though, Rogan has released a lengthy statement defending himself from allegations of racism after clips from past podcasts emerged.
Posted to his Instagram account on February 5, Rogan describes it as the “most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly”.
He explained that a compilation of him using a historically racist word has been published online, clips that he said have been “taken out of context” from “12 years of conversations” on the JRE podcast.
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on Esports, Gaming and more.
Rogan said that he has not used the language in years but that, in the past, he believed as long as it was being used “in context, people would understand what I was doing”.
After discussing why the word is so contested, he concluded: “It’s a very unusual word, but it’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of that now, but for years I used it in that manner. I never used it to be racist because I’m not racist.”
View this post on Instagram
Rogan then moved on to discuss a clip from 11 years ago, when he and some friends went to see a film in Philadelphia and Rogan made comments about the black neighbourhood they were in.
“I did not, nor would I ever, say that black people are apes, but it sure f**king sounded like that,” he said. “It sounded terrible. You can have clunky stories about anything, but not about race… It was a f**king idiotic thing to say.”
He finished the video by expressing his apologies for things he has said: “I do hope this can be a teachable moment for anybody who doesn’t realise how offensive that word can be… my sincere and humble apologies. I wish there was more that I could say, but all of this is me just talking from the bottom of my heart.”