Trevor Noah calls out Joe Rogan over use of N-word: ‘Using racism to try to be entertaining’

Noah jokingly described Rogan as "the scariest thing to come out of the show Fear Factor."

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Joe Rogan‘s recent apology and explanation for repeatedly using the N-word over the years on his extremely popular podcast didn’t satisfy fellow comedian Trevor Noah.

The 37-year-old host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah jokingly described Rogan as, “the scariest thing to come out of the show Fear Factor,” during one of the latest episodes of his late-night Comedy Central broadcast.

Credit: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on YouTube

Noah spent nearly 17 minutes breaking down everything he thought was wrong with Rogan’s Saturday apology video over the N-word controversy, which erupted after a montage of Rogan using the racial slur during episodes of his The Joe Rogan Experience podcast resurfaced on social media.

Rogan, who is white, says the N-word at least 20 times during the 23-second video.

“If there’s ever a video of you saying the N-word that many times, you better pray one of two things: Either you’re a Black person or you’re a dead man from history,” Noah, who is Black, said on Monday.

“Here’s a life hack for white people,” he added. “Saying the actual N-word puts you in unnecessary trouble — especially if you’re not racist. It doesn’t matter the context. Black people don’t have the time to sit down and sort out the racist who says the N-word 70 times [from] the non-racist who says the N-word 70 times. Black people are dealing with too much sh*t. … Just stop saying it, or, just be racist. It’s easier for everyone that way.”

During his apology video, Rogan said that the snippets of him using the N-word were “taken out of context” from “thousands of hours” of podcast episodes he’s recorded over the course of 12 years.

He also said a separate video of him referring to a Black neighborhood in Philadelphia as “planet of the apes” wasn’t meant to be racist. The video in question, according to Rogan, was from a podcast episode recorded 11 years ago when he was telling a story about going to see the movie Planet of the Apes at a theater in the same Black Philadelphia neighborhood.

“I was trying to make the story entertaining,” Rogan said. “I did not, nor would I ever say that Black people are apes, but it sure f*ckin’ sounded like that. … 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.”

Noah took issue with Rogan’s explanation. He pointed out that Rogan himself acknowledged in the old video that his “planet of the apes” remark was racist.

73rd Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Trevor Noah attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. LIVE on Sept. 19, 2021 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

“He says he would never say Black people are apes —but he said that! That’s literally what he said!” Noah said. “If you said you walked into a Black place and it was planet of the apes, then you’ve said that. You can’t be like, ‘Oh no I didn’t say —’ You did say it, which is racist…”

“And it’s not just racist,” Noah continued. “That’s like O.G. racism. That’s on the Mount Rushmore of racism. … ‘Black people are apes.’ It’s right next to burning crosses and then, like, every Bugs Bunny cartoon from the 1940s.”

Noah also was intrigued by Rogan’s remark about telling the “planet of the apes” joke to entertain the white guests on his show that day.

“I think you were using racism to be entertaining,” Noah said. “I’m not saying you were trying to offend Black people, by the way. But you knew that offending Black people would get a laugh out of those white friends that you were with.”

Noah’s recap of the controversy made him a trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday. Spotify has distanced itself from Rogan’s controversies — both on race and COVID-19 misinformation — after receiving tons of backlash on and off the internet and seeing a 20% dip in its stock price last week.

Recording artist India Arie asked the company to take her music off its platform in reaction to Rogan’s past comments on race. She told CNN host Don Lemon on Monday that she accepts Rogan’s apology.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who praised Rogan’s previous apology about spreading COVID-19 misinformation, recently walked back his support for the comedian after the N-word video went viral.

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