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‘I Don’t Believe In Cancel Culture’: India Arie Speaks On Leaving Spotify Over Joe Rogan Drama

Last updated on February 8, 2022

India Arie recently became one of many musicians either threatening to or following through on pulling their music from Spotify. The singer recently clarified her stance, saying she doesn’t subscribe to cancel culture and explaining how she was standing up for her “dignity.” This all had to do with the most controversial podcaster in America right now: Joe Rogan.

The “Steady Love” composer was already unique from some other musicians removing their music from the platform because she didn’t take issue with Rogan bringing on guests who deviated from mainstream opinions on COVID-19. Instead, she wasn’t happy with how the popular podcaster spoke about racial issues. 

Later, the singer went on “Good Morning America” to share her thoughts on cancel culture, Fox News reported.  

“I am in no position to tell Spotify not to have Joe Rogan. I don’t believe in cancel culture. I didn’t even call Joe Rogan a racist,” Arie said. “What I said was, I don’t like it, take me off. But mostly this is a conversation about me standing up for my dignity. Because how far can somebody go before it’s like ‘OK, I’m tired now’?”

Arie expressed similar sentiments during an appearance on the “Tameron Hall Show.” The 46-year-old singer explained that she’s mostly upset about musical artists not being paid more.

“One is the Joe Rogan conversation and for me his conversation around race and some of the things I’ve seen and heard. But also, coupled with that, is the treatment of artists on Spotify. Artists are underpaid and Joe Rogan gets all this money and it’s hard for me to, these days, just sit back and say ‘Oh, that’s how it goes,’” the singer said

Originally the push to take down Rogan has been focused on so-called COVID-19 misinformation. But now that the viral video of the podcaster saying the N-word repeatedly years ago has been circulating, more celebs are saying that racial insensitivity is the real problem.

Rogan has since apologized for the way he spoke in the past. “There’s a video that’s out that’s a compilation of me saying the N-word. It’s a video that’s made of clips taken out of context of me of 12 years of conversations on my podcast, and it’s all smushed together. And it looks f***ing horrible, even to me,” Rogan said in part during his apology video.

More artists are threatening to leave Spotify, but so far the streaming platform’s CEO said they will not be deplatforming Rogan despite mounting pressure to do so. The Joe Rogan Experience is the most listened-to podcast, boasting an incredible 11 million listeners per episode. 

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said Sunday he was not planning to remove Rogan from the platform.

“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more,” Ek said

“And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress.”

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