Joe Rogan addresses Spotify scandal in first stand up show since controversy: ‘I talk s— for a living’

Joe Rogan returned to the stand-up stage on Tuesday night where he dedicated some time to discuss the recent cultural scandal surrounding his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” 

The popular podcast host, whose show is exclusive to Spotify, has been the subject of scrutiny in recent days after musicians on the platform called him out for spreading COVID-19 misinformation as well as using racial slurs in past episodes. Rogan previously issued a video apology for the racial remarks and worked with the platform to remove dozens of old episodes he was no longer proud of. 

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Rogan made light of the situation during a stand-up show in Austin, Texas. Tuesday in front of a crowd of fans and supporters. As he did in his apology video, Rogan said the compilation video of him using the N-word that went viral did not have the larger context of the conversation attached to it.

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Joe Rogan is facing backlash for the content of his Spotify-exclusive podcast. 

Joe Rogan is facing backlash for the content of his Spotify-exclusive podcast. 
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images  |  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo/File Photo)

“I used to say it if [I was talking about] a Richard Pryor bit or something, I would say it in context,” Rogan said. “Somebody made a compilation of every time I said that word over 14 years and they put it on YouTube, and it turned out that was racist as f—. Even to me! I’m me and I’m watching it saying, ‘Stop saying it!’ I put my cursor over the video and I’m like, ‘Four more minutes?!’”

“I haven’t used that word in years,” he added. “But it’s kind of weird people will get really mad if you use that word and tweet about it on a phone that’s made by slaves.”

Rogan went on to downplay the severity of the COVID-19 misinformation scandal, telling his audience that, despite having one of the largest audiences in the podcast game and touting purported experts as guests, he doesn’t believe anyone should reasonably take him seriously. 

“I talk s— for a living — that’s why this is so baffling to me,” he said. “If you’re taking vaccine advice from me, is that really my fault? What dumb s— were you about to do when my stupid idea sounded better? ‘You know that dude who made people eat animal d—s on TV? How does he feel about medicine?’ If you want my advice, don’t take my advice.”

Rogan also discussed the controversy in his first podcast episode back since things kicked into high gear last week. While speaking with his guest, comedian Akaash Singh, Rogan routinely referred to the scandal as a “political hit job.” 

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They’re taking all this stuff that I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smooshing it all together,” he said (via The New York Post).

Comedian Joe Rogan responded to criticism over past racist comments.

Comedian Joe Rogan responded to criticism over past racist comments.
(Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

“It’s good because it makes me address some s— that I really wish wasn’t out there,” he added.

Rogan went on to note that he’s been coping with the backlash by staying offline.

He previously released a lengthy video in which he apologized for his past use of the N-word, noting that has not said the word in years. 

“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.

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Joe Rogan discussed his most recent controversy during a stand-up set. 

Joe Rogan discussed his most recent controversy during a stand-up set. 
(Michael S. Schwartz/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.”

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Despite the controversy, Spotify has signaled that it plans to stick by the podcaster and its $100 million exclusive deal with him.

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