As podcast episodes vanish from Spotify, Joe Rogan apologizes for racist remarks.As podcast episodes vanish from Spotify, Joe Rogan apologizes for racist remarks.

Joe Rogan apologized on Twitter. As footage of Rogan using racist slurs in previous broadcasts surfaced on social media, Spotify appears to have erased around 70 episodes of his podcast. The disclosure comes from a musician-led boycott of Spotify for enabling Rogan’s program to propagate false information about COVID-19.

India.Arie, who has removed her catalog from Spotify, uploaded a compilation video on Instagram earlier this week that shows Rogan using a racist slur on many episodes of his show. She admitted that footage might be taken out of context, but she insisted that Rogan should never use such words. Rogan, she added, was troublesome not only because of his COVID interviews but also because of “his vocabulary surrounding race.”

The podcast presenter, who allegedly signed a $100 million agreement with Spotify to distribute his show solely in 2020, apologized on Instagram early Saturday. “I wasn’t trying to be racist,” Rogan stated, “and I would never want to upset someone for the sake of amusement with anything as idiotic as racism.” However, Rogan admitted that he shouldn’t use such insults in any situation.

A fan-made website discovered that around 70 episodes were no longer available on Spotify, prompting the apologies. JREMissing compares available episodes to a database of all recorded episodes using Spotify’s API.

The podcast’s episodes have previously been removed from Spotify due to violations of its content restrictions. However, CMT cannot confirm a relationship between the presently circulating videos and the episodes’ removal. Spotify and Rogan did not reply to calls for comment.

Rogan admits in his apologetic video that he erased one particular podcast episode because of an “idiotic and racist statement” he made inadvertently. Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed source, that Spotify has taken down dozens of podcast episodes after Rogan made the decision during a chat with the firm.

The current uproar and apparent deletions coincide with a broader worry that Rogan’s program is being used to spread COVID disinformation. For example, after more than 250 medical experts signed an open letter, researchers and academics referred to the podcast as proof that the streaming service contributed to the spread of disinformation, rocker Neil Young and folk legend Joni Mitchell removed their music off Spotify.

Rogan’s participation on Spotify’s roster has been defended by CEO Daniel Ek, who stated during a business town hall that the podcast was critical to the firm’s success.

“Having content on Spotify that many of us may not be proud to be affiliated with will mean having content that many of us may not be proud to be associated with,” Ek stated during the town hall. “Not everything is allowed, but there will be thoughts, ideas, and beliefs with which we strongly disagree and which make us angry or sad.”

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