A montage of Joe Rogan using the ‘N’ word on previous episodes of his podcast has been posted to social media. It led to India.Arie’s pulling all of her music from Spotify, and to Rogan apologizing. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has not gotten involved.
How would you handle a situation like this if it was taking place at your station?
Rogan apologized in a video posted to Instagram Rogan said his use of the word was the “most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.” He also said the video montage showing his use of the ‘N’ word was taken out of context. “It’s not my word to use. I am 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.”
Over the weekend, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sent a letter to Spotify employees that said he spoke to Rogan and his team but had no plans to pull the show from Spotify or end the relationship with the most popular podcaster on the planet. Here’s a portion of that letter: “There are no words I can say to adequately convey how deeply sorry I am for the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continues to impact each of you. I think it’s important you’re aware that we’ve had conversations with Joe and his team about some of the content in his show, including his history of using some racially insensitive language. Following these discussions and his own reflections, he chose to remove a number of episodes from Spotify. 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. And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.”
Arie said even if what Rogan said (using the ‘N’ word multiple times) was taken out of context, he never should be using that word. “Don’t even say it under any context.”
Rogan has been hosting his podcast for 11 years. Spotify has also been taking a lot of heat as of late for Rogan’s guests critical of the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you had a Joe Rogan issue facing your radio station right now, what would you do? If you had a star morning show host, you were paying a lot of money, and, that person was bringing in HUGE ratings, and revenue, for your station would you fire him over this latest controversy?