India Arie backtracks, says Joe Rogan ‘consciously racist’
India Arie now says that Joe Rogan was “being consciously racist” with his repeated use of racial slurs, which she had shared out in a video earlier this month.
“If you know you’re doing it, and you keep doing it, I would say that is a racist,” Arie said Monday during an interview with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
“For me, when I think about Joe Rogan, I think that he is being consciously racist,” the “Brown Skin” singer said.
“I think he knew there was no context. I think that’s why he was saying it because he got a rise out of people — that’s why he would say it. He knew that it was inappropriate. And I think the fact that he did it repeatedly, and was conscious, and knew, I think that is being racist,” Arie, 46, told Noah.
Earlier this month, Arie posted a video of the “Joe Rogan Experience” host repeatedly using the N-word on old episodes of his podcast, which streams on Spotify. Rogan, 54, apologized after the video came to light, saying the episodes contained things that he wished he “hadn’t said or had said differently.”
The racist controversy came as Arie also made headlines for joining Neil Young and other musicians in pulling their songs from Spotify in protest of COVID-19 misinformation on Rogan’s podcast.
Arie said last week in an interview on CNN that she didn’t believe Rogan was racist.
“I think he’s insensitive for using it,” Arie said of Rogan’s use of the racial slur. “So just don’t.”
Arie explained her shifting view to Noah, saying, “When I first heard [Rogan’s] apology my instinct is to go, ‘He tried.’ But when I go deeper and ask myself what I really think, with my commitment to truth that I made this last year, what I really think is that he was being consciously racist. And it makes me wonder what he talks like behind closed doors.”
In her extended sit-down with Noah, Arie said she took no joy in calling Rogan racist: “I don’t like even saying that because I’m a sensitive old soul and I want to believe the best in people.”
The Grammy Award-winning performer said she would “love” to see Rogan invite “some of our greatest Black female thinkers around race on his show to have those messy conversations.”
“If you’re a certain type of person in this world, especially as a white person I want to say, if you’re not doing the work to not be racist, then it’s in you,” Arie said.
“So Joe Rogan is given the opportunity now to do the work and to teach other people,” she continued.
“You have this show where 11 million people listen every time,” Arie said of Rogan’s popular podcast. “Lead them. Learn for yourself, and then lead them.”