Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang published — and then apparently deleted — a tweet on Sunday defending Joe Rogan, the divisive Spotify podcast host, against criticism related to his past use of racial slurs.
“I don’t think Joe Rogan is a racist – the man interacts with and works with black people literally all of the time,” Yang said in a tweet on Sunday afternoon.
“Do I know black friends of Joe’s who would swear by him? Yes I do,” added Yang, who appeared on Rogan’s podcast in 2019, during his campaign for president.
India Arie, who pulled her music from Spotify, shared a video on Saturday of Rogan repeatedly using the n-word on his podcast and making a joke about the movie “Planet of the Apes” while he was in a Black neighborhood.
On Saturday, Rogan apologized for his repeated past use of racial slurs.
“There’s been a lot of shit from the old episodes of the podcast that I wish I hadn’t said or had said differently,” Rogan said in a video posted to Instagram.
“There’s nothing I can do to take that back. I wish I could. Obviously, that’s not possible,” Rogan said in the apology. “I certainly wasn’t trying to be racist, and I certainly would never want to offend someone for entertainment with something as stupid as racism.”
Rogan was already under fire after several musicians asked that their music be pulled from the streaming service as a result of COVID-19 misinformation on his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
More than 70 episodes of Rogan’s podcast were pulled from Spotify over the weekend as a result of the latest controversy.
On Sunday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said Rogan’s use of racial slurs were “incredibly hurtful”, but added that he did not “believe that silencing Joe is the answer.” He said Rogan made the decision to remove the episodes.
“We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope,” Ek wrote in an email to staff. “Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress.”