Joe Rogan is dismissing the criticism aimed at his racist commentary and COVID misinformation as a “political hit job.”
The latest episode of his show dropped Tuesday and Joe says he feels “relief” after apologizing because he got to address some things he hadn’t before.
“That video had always been out there. It’s like, this is a political hit job,” Rogan said. He continued, “And so they’re taking all this stuff I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together.”
At the same time, Rogan said, “It’s good because it makes me address some shit that I really wish wasn’t out there.”
“You just have to stay offline… Life goes on, as normal,” Rogan told his guest, stand-up comedian and actor Akaash Singh, at the start of the episode. Singh told Rogan, “Real life is people who know you, and you’re a great guy” and said he was proud of Rogan for apologizing for his use of racial slurs: “We’ve all said some wild shit, and you apologized, and owned that it’s wrong, good for you.”
Rogan added, “I do think you have to be very careful to not apologize for nonsense.” He cited Awkwafina’s recent statement addressing critics accusing her of appropriating Black culture. “They were saying it was a ‘blaccent,’ which is — come on, man,” Rogan said.
Previously, Rogan, in an Instagram post on Feb. 5, responded to the clip of him saying the N-word. He said it was “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly,” and added that he had not used the N-word in years.
Following Rogan’s apology, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on Sunday sent a memo to employees saying the he was “deeply sorry” for how the controversy over the podcaster has affected them. But, he wrote, “I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer… canceling voices is a slippery slope.”
In his memo to employees, Ek also said Spotify will invest $100 million for the licensing, development and marketing of music and audio content from “historically marginalized groups.” Spotify’s exclusive multiyear deal with Rogan is reportedly worth more than $100 million.
To be sure, Rogan has been a controversial figure even before Spotify inked its exclusive deal with him in 2020. When Spotify added “The Joe Rogan Experience” to the service in September 2020, it had dropped some episodes including those featuring right-wing guests such as Alex Jones, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and Milo Yiannopoulos.
Are you still going to give your money to Spotify so they can continue to pay Joe Rogan his $100 million? Whether you are or aren’t, it’s certainly something to think about.