Samuel L. Jackson Reacts To Joe Rogan’s Controversial Apology

Samuel L. Jackson rang in on the recent Joe Rogan controversy and the latter's use of racial slurs in the past on his podcast.

By Doug Norrie | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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Joe Rogan has been making no shortage of media rounds over the last few weeks with the comedian and podcaster becoming a lightning rod for controversy both around his current views as well as older clips that have been unearthed as well. One of them involved Rogan using the n-word repeatedly in different episodes of his show, and many have come out to take him to task over this. Most recently, Samuel L. Jackson rang in on his feelings about Joe Rogan and the use of the racial slur. It adds another celebrity to the list of those who’ve come out to publicly denounce Rogan, and he is unlikely to be the last. 

Speaking with the Sunday Times (via ScreenRant), Samuel L. Jackson gave his thoughts about Joe Rogan and the latter’s use of the n-word multiple times over the years on the podcast. Jackson’s thoughts seem pretty clear on this and he provided context around both his feelings and Rogan’s response to the initial controversy. Check out what Samuel L. Jackson had to say about the situation. 

“There is no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast. He (Rogan) 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 that 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. It needs to be an element of what the story is about. A story is context — but just to elicit a laugh? That’s wrong.”

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Samuel L. Jackson is referring to a video produced by India Arie that highlighted a number of times Joe Rogan had used the N-word in discussions on his podcast. The release of this video, of course, caused a major backlash to the podcaster. He went on and gave a public apology around this, working to explain that he was saying the word in reference to other comedians’ use of the word (Richard Pryor, etc) as well as Redd Foxx and others using it on television in the 1970s. This explanation did little to tamp down broiling public sentiment around the podcaster, and it dovetailed with a reaction folks had to his discussions around Covid-19 and vaccinations. 

Samuel L. Jackson, in his remarks, does clarify at the end the acceptable use of racial slurs like this needs to be within the context of a story. And Jackson has pointed back to the story of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained in which Leonardo DiCaprio as “Monsieur” Calvin J. Candie was asked to say the word a lot. DiCaprio was uncomfortable with that and raised reservations at the time about doing it and how it would be perceived. Both Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino were insistent that he go through with the script saying this was more believable in how these characters would have talked at the time. Ultimately DiCaprio did, though it’s worth noting that the film did receive its own share of controversy because of its portrayal of African Americans and the use of racial slurs as well. 

As for Samuel L. Jackson, he is set to star in a number of higher-profile productions this year. For starters, there’s the Apple TV+ limited series, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey which is set to release on March 11th. The trailer for this has looked stunning with Jackson playing the character across a few different timelines. And then, of course, he’ll reprise his Nick Fury role in Marvel’s Secret Invasion which is set to hit Disney+. That series is set to be a big one with characters from the franchise all set to take part.