"You were having fun" – Samuel L. Jackson blasts Joe Rogan's N-word use and apology
"It’s not the context – it’s that he was comfortable doing it."
Acclaimed actor Samuel L. Jackson has slammed Joe Rogan in a new interview, arguing that Rogan's recent apology for his use of the N-word on numerous podcasts wasn't good enough.
Earlier this month, Rogan apologised after a compilation emerged online highlighting the podcaster repeatedly using the racial slur on past episodes of his hit show.
In a video posted to Instagram, Rogan offered "sincere and humble apologies", stating it was "the most regretful and shameful thing" he has ever had to talk about publicly.
"There’s a video that’s out, that’s a compilation of me saying the N-word," he said.
"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**king horrible, even to me.
"Now, I know that to most people there’s no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast and I agree with that now.
"I haven’t said it in years, but for a long time, when I would bring that word up, like if it would come up in conversation, instead of saying 'the N-word’, I would just say the word.
"I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing," Rogan underlined.
In response, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said that de-platforming Rogan – who has an exclusive deal with the streaming giant reportedly somewhere between $100 and $200 million – was not the answer.
Addressing Rogan's "in context" citation, Jackson was having none of it, basically.
In conversation with the Sunday Times, Jackson said:
“He is saying nobody understood the context when he said it, but he shouldn’t have said it.
"It’s not the context, dude – it’s that he was comfortable doing it. Say you’re sorry because you want to keep your money, but you were having fun and you say you did it because it was entertaining.”
Jackson went on to argue that the N-word should only be used if narrative material truly demands it, referencing his work with Quentin Tarantino, particularly Django Unchained, which features the word regularly throughout the film.
Filmmakers including Spike Lee have long been critical of Tarantino's application of the word, while Jackson has often moved to defend his long-term director in this regard.
“While we were rehearsing, Leo [DiCaprio] said, ‘I don’t know if I can say [the N-word] this many times,’” Jackson recalled.
"Me and Quentin said that you have to. Every time someone wants an example of overuse of the N-word, they go to Quentin – it’s unfair. He’s just telling the story and the characters do talk like that.
"When Steve McQueen does it, it’s art. He’s an artiste. Quentin’s just a popcorn filmmaker."