Joe Rogan apologizes for past use of N-word after clips resurface: 'I clearly have f---ed up'

Spotify podcast host addressed a compilation video that's gone viral showing him using the racial slur on his podcast several times

Joe Rogan is addressing the "most regretful and shameful thing" he says he's ever had to talk about.

The podcast host, whose $100 million deal at Spotify has been called into question by numerous artists in recent weeks, is addressing a video that's gone viral that shows his past use of the N-word.

Rogan, 54, took to Instagram on Friday night to share a video in which he expresses his "deepest, sincerest" apologies.

"I'm making this video to talk about the most regretful and shameful thing that I've ever had to talk about publicly. There's a video that's out that's a compilation of me saying the N-word. It's a video that's made of clips taken out of context of me of 12 years of conversations on my podcast, and it's all smushed together. And it looks f---ing horrible, even to me," Rogan said.


Joe Rogan introduces fighters during the UFC 269 ceremonial weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The racial slur controversy follows a number of musicians who have requested Spotify pull their music because of Rogan's controversial interviews about COVID-19. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"I know 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 now. I haven't said it in years. But for a long time, when I would bring that word up, if it would come up in conversations, 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."

Rogan provided "context" for his past repeated use of the word, saying he'd previously said it on air when discussing "how times have changed so much since then or about how Richard Pryor used it as one of the titles of one of his albums, or I was quoting a Lenny Bruce bit, or I was quoting a Paul Mooney bit or I was talking about how Quentin Tarantino used it repeatedly in 'Pulp Fiction.'

"I was also talking about how there's not another word like it in the entire English language because it's a word where only one group of people is allowed to use it, and they can use it in so many different words. If a White person uses it, it's racist and toxic, but a Black person can use it, and it can be a punchline, it can be a term of endearment, it can be lyrics to a rap song, it can be a positive affirmation. It's a very unusual word, but it's not my word to use. I'm well aware of that now.


Joe Rogan

Comedian Joe Rogan performs during his appearance at The Ice House Comedy Club July 11, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif.  (Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"For years I used it in that manner. I never used it to be racist because I am not racist, but whenever you're in a situation where you have to say ‘I’m not racist,' you f---ed up, and I clearly have f---ed up and that's my intention to express myself in this video and say, there's nothing I can do to take that back. I wish I could. Obviously, that's not possible. I do hope that, if anything, that this can be a teachable moment," he added.

Rogan also addressed another resurfaced clip that shows him discussing a time he saw "Planet of the Apes" in a Philadelphia neighborhood with friends. He said the podcast was taken down because the joke sounded inappropriate.

"It wasn't a racist story, but it sounds terrible. It looks terrible even in context … I was just trying to be entertaining. I certainly wasn't trying to be racist, and I certainly never would want to offend someone for entertainment with something as stupid as racism," Rogan said.

"Holy s--t, it looks bad. It's part of also me doing this podcast for thousands of hours, thousands of episodes, over 12 years. I've said a lot of f---ing stupid s--t, which is fine when you're talking about most things but not when you're talking about race."


The comedian's past use of the racial slur went viral online after artist India.Arie explained why she requested her music be removed from Spotify this week. In addition to taking issue with Rogan's comments about COVID-19 vaccines, she said she also was concerned with "his language about race."

Neil Young Joe Rogan

Neil Young was the first musician to request Spotify remove his music from the streaming service because of Rogan. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports   |   Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"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 type of company that they keep. I'm tired," Arie partially wrote online.

Prior to the racial slur controversy, Rogan was accused of peddling "misinformation" about COVID-19 during conversations in some of his episodes, sparking protest from progressives. Neil Young was the first to request Spotify remove his music, and other artists like Arie, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and more, followed suit.

Rogan broke his silence on the controversy Sunday in a nearly 10-minute video. He spoke about the challenges of preparing for his shows that are unscripted and free-flowing. He defended his interviews with Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist, and Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist, that resulted in some criticism and apparently led to Young's decision to call for his songs to be removed from the platform. 

Rogan challenged the "misinformation" claim given that so much is still being learned about COVID-19. He said Spotify will begin to put a disclaimer at the beginning of these sorts of interviews, and he will also consider following them up with an expert with a different opinion.

Representatives for Spotify did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.

FOX Business' Nate Day and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.