In an internal company memo, CEO Daniel Ek condemned Rogan’s comments as “incredibly hurtful” and claimed his use of the slur does not reflect Spotify’s values. However, Ek said the company will not be pulling Rogan’s show from the platform.
“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more,” Ek wrote. “I want to make one point very clear—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.”
In response, Spotify removed over 100 episodes of Rogan’s show, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
As reported by REVOLT, Rogan apologized on Saturday (Feb. 5) for the resurfaced video montage, which compiles several clips of him saying the N-word on his show. In an apology video, the UFC commentator claimed that he’s not racist and that the clips were taken out of context.
“There’s a video that’s out that’s a compilation of me saying the N-word. It’s a video made of clips taken out of context of 12 years of conversations on my podcast and it’s all smushed together and it looks fucking horrible even to me,” he said.
“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,” he continued. “I haven’t said it in years, 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.”
Rogan’s apology arrived after India Arie announced she would be removing her music from Spotify in protest of his use of the N-word. Other artists, like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, have also opted to pull their discographies from the streamer over the COVID-19 misformation Rogan is accused of spreading on his podcast.
Rogan signed a $100 million deal with Spotify last year.