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India Arie: ‘I don’t think Joe Rogan is racist’

India Arie attends the Black Girls Rock! Awards at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in 2017
Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/The Associated Press

India Arie says despite Joe Rogan’s repeated use of racial slurs, she doesn’t believe the podcast host is racist.

“I don’t think Joe Rogan is racist for using [the N-word],” the “Brown Skin” singer said Monday on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight.”

“I think he’s insensitive for using it,” Arie continued. “So just don’t.”

Last week, Arie shared a compilation of Rogan repeatedly using the racial slur on old episodes of his popular podcast. Rogan apologized after the video came to light, saying the episodes contained things that “I wish I hadn’t said, or had said differently.”

“I have to say, I did think he did a fine job with his apology,” Arie told Lemon on Monday. “He said a lot of the things I would want to hear someone say. 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.”

The “Joe Rogan Experience” host has come under fire for two separate controversies in recent weeks. Last week, Arie was one of several performers who joined Neil Young in pulling their songs from Spotify because of COVID-19 misinformation on Rogan’s podcast.

Arie, 46, indicated that she had longstanding issues with her music being streamed on Spotify and that Rogan was the final straw.

“I knew about Joe Rogan’s insensitive comments around race before because I’m a podcast listener, and I had heard many episodes of his podcast,” Arie said.

“When I learned of his language, I just tuned out on my own,” the songwriter said.

“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.”

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus misinformation coronavirus pandemic Don Lemon India Arie Joe Rogan Neil Young Podcasting Spotify The Joe Rogan Experience
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