“I don’t think Joe Rogan is racist for using [the N-word],” she told CNN Monday night. “I think he’s insensitive for using it.”
India.Arie appeared on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon and said she has accepted Joe Rogan’s apology for his frequent use of the N-word on his podcast, which was the catalyst for her removing her music from its host platform, Spotify.
“I don’t think Joe Rogan is racist for using [the N-word],” she told Lemon Monday night. “I think he’s insensitive for using it.”
Acclaimed singer India.Arie (above) told CNN’s Don Lemon she has accepted Joe Rogan’s apology for his frequent use of the N-word on his podcast. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
“So just don’t,” she added.
It was Arie who shared an Instagram post that featured a mashup of Rogan using the racial slur numerous times on The Joe Rogan Experience. She maintained that while rock artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell were deplatforming their music from Spotify due to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation that Rogan’s podcast was spreading, she was leaving because of his race-based comments.
Arie’s video went viral and prompted Rogan to issue an apology, in which he said, in part, “I wish I hadn’t said or had said differently.”
Spotify stood by the podcaster, who recently received a $100 million payday from the streaming giant.
“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,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently told emloyees in an internal memo. “And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.”
In her appearance on CNN Monday night, Arie said of Rogan, “I have to say, I did think he did a fine job with his apology.”
“He said a lot of the things I would want to hear someone say,” she told Lemon. “The thing that stuck out for me most was when he said, ‘It’s not my word to use.’ And I think changed behavior is what we’re really looking for.”
MSNBC host and longtime activist Rev. Al Sharpton pointed out that it was Arie who brought Rogan’s comments back to light, although the episodes in question existed for years. He also said that he is expecting changed behavior.
“It’s not about a meeting,” Sharpton told TMZ. “It’s about what he would want to do to show the community that he’s offended that he is seriously sorry. Meeting with us is not the answer. He should decide what he’s willing to do. We’re not lonely, we’re not looking for a meeting. We are looking for a penance. When we have seen people in our community do wrong, they have had to do things… like work with those communities, do projects in those communities. He’s not above that.”
Sharpton notes that “what is so troubling with all of this is Spotify seems to be standing by him and would have done nothing about this if India.Arie hadn’t brought it up. So it wasn’t like he came and threw himself on the altar and confessed; he was exposed.”
The Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter did not say whether or not she would continue to keep her music off Spotify. “I knew about Joe Rogan’s insensitive comments around race before because I’m a podcast listener,” she said, “and I had heard many episodes of his podcast.”
“When I learned of his language,” said Arie, “I just tuned out on my own.”
“As a working musician who has always had issues with Spotify, and then they bring in this Joe Rogan thing, and now it creates a thing that I can’t not speak up about,” Arie said. “He’s not the reason, but he is the final reason.”
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