Most musical artists cite Joe Rogan spreading COVID-19 misinformation on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, as a reason for withdrawing their music from Spotify.
Artists such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have taken that route in recent days. But not R&B artist India Arie. The four-time Grammy Award winner wrote on Instagram Tuesday that Rogan made offensive comments about race on a recent episode that were “problematic.”
“I have decided to pull my music and podcast from Spotify,” Arie wrote. “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…”
Rogan discussed race with clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson on last Tuesday’s episode, where he suggested it was strange to call someone Black or White based on their skin tone.
“Unless you’re talking to someone who is like 100% African, from the darkest place, where they’re not wearing any clothes all day, and they’ve developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun, you know, even the term ‘Black’ is weird,” Rogan said.
Arie also called out Spotify for the figure it pays Rogan, which is believed to be worth more than $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“What I am talking about is RESPECT. Who gets it and who doesn’t,” she wrote. “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.”
Amid widespread backlash, Rogan posted a near 10-minute Instagram video Sunday, where he defended his show and emphasized that he encourages all kinds of opinions on his show.
“I don’t want to just show the contrary opinion to what the narrative is,” Rogan said. “I want to show all kinds of opinions, so that we can all figure out what’s going on — and not just about COVID, about everything. About health, about fitness wellness, the state of the world itself.”
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