India Arie Asks Spotify to Remove Her Music From Their Platform Over Joe Rogan’s ‘Language Around Race’
In January 2022, Neil Young told Spotify that they needed to remove the popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” or he was going to remove his music from their platform. Spotify didn’t remove the podcast, so Young removed his music, and he wasn’t the only one.
Joni Mitchell also decided to remove her music from Spotify. Both she and Young explained that they wanted to remove their music due to Covid-19 misinformation spread through Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Now, India Arie is also asking Spotify to remove her music due to Rogan’s podcast, but it has nothing to do with Covid-19. On Instagram, Arie explained, “I have decided to pull my music and podcast from Spotify. Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through. I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews…” She continued, “What I am talking about is RESPECT – who gets it and who doesn’t. paying musicians a fraction of a penny? and HIM $100M? This shows the kind of company they are and the company that they keep.”
In addition to being offended by Spotify’s payment decisions, Arie is also offended by Rogan specifically because earlier in his career he said the n-word on his podcast. She also shared a video of clips from “The Joe Rogan Experience” where Rogan says the n-word over and over again. In addition, in one clip he compares a black neighborhood to the movie “Planet of the Apes.”
According to Rogan, these clips were all taken out of context and were from years ago. He explained that he didn’t realize at the time that there was no context in which it was okay for a white person to say the n-word, but he knows that now. He also explained that when he used the word it was when he was talking about another piece of work, like a movie, where the word was used and instead of saying “n-word” he said the word itself.
Rogan posted a video on Instagram in which he apologized for using the n-word and said that he hopes “this is a teachable moment” for anyone who doesn’t currently understand that it’s never okay to say the word unless you are Black.
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Arie agrees with Rogan that it’s never okay to say the n-word. On Instagram, she explained, “Don’t even say it, under any context. Don’t say it. That’s where I stand. I have always stood there.”
Do you think Rogan’s apology was sincere? Do you think the clips were taken out of context? Do you think Arie made the right decision to remove her music from Spotify over Rogan’s podcast? Do you think Spotify will eventually decide to remove Rogan’s podcast over the controversy?