Spotify quietly removed roughly 70 episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast after expressing support for the comedian, who’s stirred controversy for . Rogan went on Instagram Saturday to discuss the content of the old episodes, addressing two videos on social media of him saying the n-word and another where he described a black neighborhood as being similar to the Planet of the Apes movie.
“There’s nothing I can do to take that back. I wish I could. obviously, that’s not possible,” Rogan said in an Instagram video. “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 went on to say in the video he hopes this is a teachable moment for anyone who didn’t understand how offensive the n-word is coming from a white person. He ended his video with “sincere deepest apologies.” The comedian didn’t state the missing episodes were deleted from Spotify due to the usage of the n-word.
The removal of the episodes, all of which were recorded years before the pandemic began, was spotted by JREMissing Friday. The fan-made website uses Spotify’s API to compare available episodes to a database of all episodes recorded.
It’s unclear when the episodes stopped being available. When Rogan’s podcast moved to Spotify officially, 42 episodes didn’t make the move over various issues with the service’s content rules.
CNET confirmed that the episodes newly reported as missing weren’t available on Spotify anymore. The company and Rogan didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The apparent removal of the episodes comes as controversy swirls around. pulled their music from Spotify after an pointed to Rogan’s podcast as evidence the streaming service was giving COVID misinformation a platform.
CEO Daniel Ek has defended the inclusion of Rogan on the company’s roster and told a company town hall that the podcast was vital to Spotify’s success.
“If we want even a shot at achieving our bold ambitions, it will mean having content on Spotify that many of us may not be proud to be associated with,” Ek said during the town hall. “Not anything goes, but there will be opinions, ideas and beliefs that we disagree with strongly and even makes us angry or sad.”