Controversial podcast host Joe Rogan has offered “sincere and humble apologies” after footage emerged of him repeatedly using the n-word on his hit show.
he comedian, 54, who has a lucrative deal with streaming giant Spotify, said it is the “most regretful and shameful thing” he has ever had to speak about, but stressed the clips were “taken out of context”.
Rogan has come under fire recently for sharing coronavirus misinformation on his hugely popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.
Prominent musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have withdrawn their music from the service over its decision to continue hosting the show, which was reportedly acquired for more than 100 million US dollars (£77 million) in 2020.
Musician India Arie has also announced she will be leaving the streaming service in protest, saying she objects to Rogan’s “language around race”.
She shared an edited compilation of clips of Rogan using the n-word more than 20 times on her Instagram Story highlights.
Addressing the montage in a video posted on his own Instagram, Rogan said: “I’m making this video to talk about the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.
“There’s a video that’s out, that’s a compilation of me saying 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, and it’s all smushed together, and it looks f****** horrible, even to me.
“Now 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.
Video of the Day
“Now, I haven’t said 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 said in some of the clips in the compilation he is quoting other people or referring to the title of a Richard Pryor comedy album, and in another instance he is discussing how it is “an unusual word”, adding: “It’s a word where only one group of people is allowed to use it, they can use in so many different ways.
“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 use it to be racist, because I’m not racist, but whenever you’re in a situation where you have to say ‘I’m not racist’, you’ve f***** up, and I clearly have f***** up.”
Rogan also addressed a clip Arie shared of him telling an anecdote in which he appeared to compare being around black people to the film Planet Of The Apes.
He said: “I was telling a story in the podcast about how me and my friend Tommy and his girlfriend, we got really high and we’re in Philadelphia, and we went to go see Planet Of The Apes.
“We didn’t know where we were going, we just got dropped off by a cab, and we got dropped off in this all-black neighbourhood.
“And I was trying to make the story entertaining and I said, ‘We got out, and it was like we were in Africa, like we were in Planet Of The Apes’.
“I did not know, nor would I ever say that black people are apes, but it sure f****** sounded like that.
“And I immediately afterwards, I said ‘That’s a racist thing to say’.
“Planet Of The Apes wasn’t even in Africa. I was just saying there was a lot of black people there.”
Rogan said he had deleted the podcast and admitted it was “an idiotic thing to say”, adding: “I was just trying to be entertaining. I certainly wasn’t trying to be racist, and I certainly would never want to offend someone for entertainment with something as stupid as racism.
“I can’t go back in time and change what I’ve said, I wish I could, obviously that’s not possible, but I do hope that this can be a teachable moment for anybody that doesn’t realise how offensive that word can be coming out of a white person’s mouth, in context or out of context.
“My sincere and humble apologies. I wish there was more that I could say.
“But all of this is just me talking from the bottom of my heart. It makes me sick watching that video. But hopefully, at least some of you will accept this and understand where I’m coming from.”
Rogan has previously attracted controversy for suggesting the young and healthy should not get vaccinated.