Singer India Arie, Who Asked to Leave Spotify over Joe Rogan: I Didn’t Say He Was Racist


Singer India Arie, one of the musicians who asked Spotify to remove her music over famed podcaster Joe Rogan, says she never called Rogan “racist,” and insists that she doesn’t believe in cancel culture.

“I am in no position to tell Spotify not to have Joe Rogan,” Arie said in an interview on Good Morning America. “I don’t believe in cancel culture. I didn’t even call Joe Rogan a racist.”

The singer went on to explain that she doesn’t want to be associated with Spotify because Rogan’s podcast also exists on the platform.

“What I said was, ‘I don’t like it, take me off,’” she said. “But mostly, this is a conversation about me standing up for my dignity. Because how far can it go before somebody is like, ‘Alright, I’m tired now’?”

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Last week, Arie posted a similar statement to Instagram, explaining that she particularly irked by Rogan’s “language around race,” as well as the fact that Spotify signed a $100 million contract with the podcaster, while the company allegedly pays its musicians “a fraction of a penny.”

“I have decided to pull my music from Spotify,” Arie announced. “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… FOR ME IT’S ALSO HIS language around race,” the singer added.

“What I am talking about is RESPECT — who gets it and who doesn’t,” she said. “Paying musicians a fraction of a penny? and HIM $100M? This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep. I’m tired.”

Some might point out, however, that Spotify likely signed a $100 million contract with Rogan due to the fact that The Joe Rogan Experience is, the platform’s most popular podcast, globally, and reaches an estimated 11 million people per episode.

Moreover, Rogan’s previous usage of the N-word on his podcast has been public knowledge for years. As rapper T-Pain recently pointed out, “Everybody knew that that shit was happening. It wasn’t like he was a small podcaster before all this shit. All that shit was public knowledge.”

Many are finding it interesting that the N-word video has now resurfaced in the wake of an apparent failed attempt to cancel Rogan over his so-called “misinformation” regarding coronavirus-related issues.

Rogan has been under attack ever since hosting two guests, Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone, who “have an opinion that’s different from the mainstream narrative” regarding coronavirus-related issues, the podcaster explained.

India Arie performs onstage on August 25, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for BET)

In reaction to this, left-wing rocker Neil Young demanded that Spotify remove his music from the platform if it refuses to blacklist Rogan’s podcast. The company reacted to this by announcing it would pull Young’s music from the platform.

After seeing that his ultimatum failed, Young urged other musicians to join him in removing their music as well. He was able to get a small cohort of aging rockers — David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Nils Lofgren, and Joni Mitchell — to join him in his anti-Spotify crusade.

After that, Arie shared a video compilation of Rogan using the N-word, shifting the focus from coronavirus-related cancelation attempt to a race-related cancelation attempt.

On Friday, Rogan responded to the controversy, saying that the video was derived from 12 years of conversations he had on his podcast, and clipped together to be “taken out of context,” adding, “it looks fucking horrible, even to me.”

Spotify says it will pull left-wing rocker Neil Young’s music from its platform. The move comes just days after Young demanded that Spotify either remove his music or blacklist Joe Rogan and his popular podcast.

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 26, 2022

“I haven’t said it in years, but for a long time, when I would bring that word up — like if it were to come up in a conversation — instead of saying ‘the N-word,’ I would just say the word,” he explained. “I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing.”

“It’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of that now, but for years I used it in that manner,” Rogan added. “I never used it to be racist, because I’m not racist — but whenever you’re in a situation where you have to say, ‘I’m not racist,’ you fucked up. And I clearly have fucked up.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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