US podcast host Joe Rogan apologises over video of him repeatedly using N-word

Joe Rogan, who has a lucrative deal with streaming giant Spotify, has been criticised for his views around Covid-19. Credit: AP

The US podcast host Joe Rogan has issued an apology after footage emerged of him repeatedly using the N-word on his popular show.

A compilation video has surfaced of the 54-year-old comedian using the offensive term during early episodes of The Joe Rogan Podcast- one of the most popular podcasts in the world with an estimated audience of 11 million.

An edited montage was shared on Instagram by the grammy award-winning singer India Arie, who has said she would leave Spotify in protest over the podcaster's “language around race”.

She became the latest musician to announce they were cutting ties with the streaming service after Neil Young and Joni Mitchell withdrew their music over concerns the podcast was spreading misinformation around Covid.

During a six minute video posted to his Instagram page on Saturday, Rogan offered his “sincere and humble apologies”, saying it was the “most regretful and shameful thing” he has ever had to publicly talk about.

He said in some of the clips in the compilation he is quoting other people or referring to the title of a Richard Pryor comedy album, and in another instance he is discussing how it is “an unusual word."

“Now I know that to most people there’s no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that,” the comedian said. “Now, I haven’t said it in years, but for a long time, when I would bring that word up, like if it would come up in conversation, instead of saying ‘the N-word’, I would just say the word. “I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing.”

"I do hope that this can be a teachable moment for anybody that doesn't know how offensive that word can be coming out of a white person's mouth," he added.

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The MMA commentator also sought to defend himself, as he said that many of the clips were taken out of context across more than a decade the podcast has been running.

Rogan has previously attracted controversy for suggesting the young and healthy should not get vaccinated.

Accusing him of Covid misinformation, Young issued an ultimatum to Spotify last month: "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both."

The streaming company subsequently confirmed it had removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid misinformation since the start of the pandemic and hoped to welcome Young back soon.