Joe Rogan Mocks Spotify Controversies & Responds To Critics In Stand-Up Comedy Return
“If you want my advice, don’t take my advice.”
Joe Rogan laughed off recent controversies surrounding his popular Spotify podcast–namely a viral video compilation of him saying the N-word and charges of COVID misinformation–in a raucous return to the stand-up comedy stage.
Rogan first took aim at the compilation of edited YouTube footage in which he uttered the racial slur over multiple episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience–a video that spawned public outcry after it was shared by singer India.Arie and led to public apology by Rogan on Instagram.
The podcast king, veteran comic and UFC commentator tried to explain it further during a self-deprecating standup performance at Austin’s Vulcan Gas Company, per The Hollywood Reporter.
“I used to say it if [I was talking about] a Richard Pryor bit or something, I would say it in context,” Rogan said of the n-word scandal in his first set since the news broke about the video.
“Somebody made a compilation of every time I said that word over 14 years and they put it on YouTube, and it turned out that was racist as fuck. Even to me!
“I’m watching it saying, ‘Stop saying it!’ I put my cursor over the video and I’m like, ‘Four more minutes?!’
“I haven’t used that word in years,” he added. “But it’s kind of weird people will get really mad if you use that word and tweet about it on a phone that’s made by slaves.”
Arie was one of many who circulated the clips in question and then asked for Spotify, which holds the exclusive rights to host The Joe Rogan Experience, to remove her music from the platform.
Arie joined fellow musicians Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and others, who had their music taken off of Spotify in response to Joe Rogan Experience guests accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
In his apology posted to Instagram, Rogan called his comments “the most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”
But during his standup set, Rogan also joked—this time unapologetically—about the aforementioned COVID-19 controversies.
“I talk shit for a living — that’s why this is so baffling to me,” he said. “If you’re taking vaccine advice from me, is that really my fault? What dumb shit were you about to do when my stupid idea sounded better? ‘You know that dude who made people eat animal dicks on TV? How does he feel about medicine?’ If you want my advice, don’t take my advice.”
Spotify removed more than 100 episodes of the podcast in response to the outcry. But CEO Daniel Elk continued to defend Rogan in an email to staff obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”