After calling out media personality and controversial podcast host Joe Rogan over offensive remarks about Black people and his repeated use of the N-word, Grammy Award-winning singer India.Arie is now on the receiving end of some online backlash now that the singer has said she accepted Rogan’s recent apology.
During an appearance on “Don Lemon Tonight,” the “Brown Skin” singer stated that she doesn’t “think Joe Rogan is racist for using the N-word. I think he’s insensitive for using it. So just don’t,” the 46-year-old told Lemon on the Monday, Feb. 7, episode of the CNN show.
“I have to say, I did think he did a fine job with his apology,” Arie said. “He said a lot of the things I would want to hear someone say. The thing that stuck out for me most was when he said, ‘It’s not my word to use.’ And I think changed behavior is what we’re really looking for.”
The songwriter’s remarks garnered her criticism from fans, who took to their social media platforms to express their disappointment over the star seemingly forgiving Rogan despite previously sharing multiple critical assessments about the former announcer. The incident even triggered the “Steady Love” signer to remove her music and show from Spotify–which also hosts Rogan’s popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
At the time, Arie said in an Instagram video that she refused to “generate money that pays this,” referring to the podcast. “From Botham Jean’s brother hugging his brother’s murderer to so many Black people praying for their tormentors to now India Arie walking back her Joe Rogan is racist and saying he’s not racist. When will black people stop being so damned passive?” wrote one critic.
Another person stated, “India Arie says she is against cancel culture, yet tried her best to cancel @joerogan.”
Still, some fans were suspicious of Arie’s statement. Many believed that the star was forced to give that statement, including one person who wrote, “@Spotify and Ms. @indiaarie’s useless record label can go fk themselves forever. Forcing @indiaarie to spew that bs about that crusty racist ass @joerogan.” That person added, “India Arie has always been a self-respecting black woman, and it’s clear as day they forced her.”
Arie later returned to her social media page, where she once again clarified her statement, saying, “This conversation about Spotify, Joe Rogan, me, it’s not about Spotify or Joe Rogan. It’s about my integrity. It’s about being who I am inside, aligning with who I am outside.”
She doubled down on her earlier statements and noted that she never said the comedian was racist. On Instagram, she said she thinks he did “well” with his apology, but found some of it “disingenuous.”
More Stories from Our Partners: