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Spotify deletes 70 episodes of 'The Joe Rogan Experience' as new racial slur controversy forces podcast host to issue apology: 'The most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly'

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Illustration by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Spotify quietly removed 70 episodes of "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast recently, according to a new report. The news was reported by JRE Missing – a website that automatically detects episodes of Rogan's podcast that have been purged from Spotify.

The deleted episodes feature a wide variety of guests such as progressive political commentator Kyle Kulinski, LGBT community activist Dan Savage, Vice Media founder Shane Smith, liberal podcaster Marc Maron, psychologist Stanley Krippner, MMA fighter Sam Sheridan, lifestyle guru Tim Ferriss, Tool singer Maynard James Keenan, ufologist Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, wellness company CEO Aubrey Marcus, director Kevin Smith, and actor Andy Dick.

There were also numerous episodes starring comedians that were taken down, including shows with Russell Peters, Theo Von, Bert Kreischer, Tom Segura, Christina Pazsitzky, Moshe Kasher, Pete Holmes, Amy Schumer, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, and Bill Burr.

Upon finding out that one of his episodes was deleted, Gad Saad – who is a professor, evolutionary behavioral scientist, Psychology Today writer, and author – wrote on Twitter, "WTF?!"

Author and podcaster Michael Malice – who was a "The Joe Rogan Experience" guest six times – noted that Spotify deleted two episodes he appeared in. During a YouTube broadcast, Malice said he wasn't exactly sure why the shows were purged and that they both were recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic.

A possible reason for the mass deletion of pre-pandemic episodes could stem from a new controversy involving Rogan. This week, a compilation video went viral of Rogan saying the N-word in past podcasts. Rogan used the racial slur 24 times in the 23 resurfaced clips in episodes recorded years ago, well before his deal with Spotify.

Rogan issued an apology on Saturday morning for using the racial slur, calling it "the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly."

Rogan said the clips were taken "out of context" from "12 years of conversations." He explained that he was quoting other people in several instances of using the N-word.

“I know that to most people, there is no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, nevermind publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that now," Rogan said in an Instagram video. "I haven’t said it in years. 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."

"It looks f***ing horrible. Even to me," he said.

"It’s a very unusual word, but it’s not my word to use," the comedian continued. "I never used it to be racist, because I’m not racist, but whenever you’re in a situation where you have to say ‘I’m not racist,’ you’ve f***ed up, and I clearly have f***ed up."

"I do hope that if anything this can be a teachable moment," Rogan added. "I never thought it would be taken out of context and put in a video like that. Now that it is, holy s**t does it look bad."


"Breaking Points" host Saagar Enjeti – who has been a guest on "The Joe Rogan Experience – declared, "The effort to smear Joe Rogan as a racist is one of the most despicable efforts I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. They don’t actually care, they’re just trying to destroy him. We either live in a society where context matters or we don’t."

Enjeti compared Rogan using the racial slur out of context to President Joe Biden quoting the N-word from a 1985 hearing.

"By their standard Joe Biden is a racist," Enjeti said.

In April, Spotify deleted roughly 40 episodes of Rogan's podcast. JRE Missing reported that a total of 113 episodes have been deleted since Joe Rogan signed a reported $100 million contract with the streaming giant.

Regarding certain episodes, Rogan said in March, "There were a few episodes they didn't want on their platform, and I was like 'Okay, I don't care.'"

Previously, Rogan said Spotify's management "haven't given me a hard time at all" and they "don't give a f***" about the content and guests on his podcast.

Rogan and Spotify have faced heavy criticism in the past two weeks over claims of COVID-19 misinformation. The situation escalated when musicians threatened to remove their music libraries from Spotify, including Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, India Arie, and Nils Lofgren.

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