Joe Rogan critic India Arie says she doesn’t believe in cancel culture amid racism, Spotify scandal

One of Joe Rogan’s biggest critics, India Arie, said that she doesn’t believe in cancel culture and isn’t asking for the podcaster to be censored, despite taking her music off of Spotify’s platform.

Rogan is one of the streaming service’s biggest stars, with a contract that could earn him more than $100 million. However, Arie joined artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in asking that their music be removed from the platform due to its inclusion of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. However, while the other musicians cited COVID-19 misinformation, Arie said her reasons had to do with his racially insensitive content. 

Speaking on “Good Morning America” Monday, the singer noted that she is not asking Spotify to choose between her or Rogan, nor is she calling him a racist. However, she does not want to be associated with a platform that would invest so much in him and not enough in musicians and less controversial podcasters. 

“I am in no position to tell Spotify not to have Joe Rogan. I don’t believe in cancel culture,” she explained. “I didn’t even call Joe Rogan a racist. What I said was, I don’t like it, take me off. But mostly this is a conversation about me standing up for my dignity. Because how far can somebody go before it’s like ‘OK, I’m tired now’?”

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 26: India.Arie attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 26: India.Arie attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Her comments echo those she previously made during an appearance on the “Tameron Hall Show” where she explained that her reasons were dual. 

“One is the Joe Rogan conversation and for me his conversation around race and some of the things I’ve seen and heard. But also, coupled with that, is the treatment of artists on Spotify. Artists are underpaid and Joe Rogan gets all this money and it’s hard for me to, these days, just sit back and say ‘oh, that’s how it goes,’” she explained. 

Arie previously shared a video compilation of Rogan using the N-word multiple times on his show as well as using other racially insensitive language to help give context to her decision to call out the podcaster. 

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

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 09: UFC commentator Joe Rogan announces the fighters during a ceremonial weigh in for UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena on July 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 09: UFC commentator Joe Rogan announces the fighters during a ceremonial weigh in for UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena on July 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

“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.

However, Rogan also spent a good portion of his video message trying to provide context for his use of the slur. 

Last week, Arie shared a post on Instagram in which she explained that the platform allowing Rogan to continue despite the racially charged language he exhibits on his show is not something he can abide. 

“Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through,” she wrote Monday. I believe in freedom of speech,” The artist wrote. “However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews… FOR ME ITS ALL HIS language around race.”

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India Arie said she doesn't believe in cancel culture despite being steeped in the Joe Rogan and Spotify controversy. 

India Arie said she doesn’t believe in cancel culture despite being steeped in the Joe Rogan and Spotify controversy. 
(David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images – Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

She continued: 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 they are and the company that they keep.” 

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 “Good Morning America” reporter Janai Norman said that Arie noted in their interview that she was planning to speak with Spotify about the situation in the near future.

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