Samuel L Jackson hits out at Joe Rogan over his use of the N-word: ‘It’s not the context, dude’

‘He was comfortable doing it,’ said the actor

Annabel Nugent
Sunday 27 February 2022 11:10 GMT
Joe Rogan apologises for using N-word

Samuel L Jackson has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Joe Rogan after resurfaced footage showed the podcaster using the N-word multiple times.

Earlier this month, Grammy award-winner India Arie called out Rogan for his “language around race”.

The musician posted a compilation of clips that showed Rogan using the N-word 22 times in previous episodes of his hugely popular podcast.

Following backlash to the video, Rogan apologised for using the racial slur – calling it “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly” – but insisted he was not racist.

“I know for most people there’s no context where a white person is allowed to say that word – and I agree with that now,” he said. “I haven’t said it for years... I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing.”

In a new interview with The Times, Jackson said it was “wrong” for Rogan to use the slur.

“He is saying nobody understood the context when he said it,” said the actor, who the interviewer notes was rolling his eyes.

“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.”

Samuel L Jackson (Getty Images for AppleTV+)

Asked whether Rogan’s use of the N-word lacked context, the 73-year-old replied: “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.”

The actor went on to speak about his time shooting Django Unchained with Leonardo DiCaprio, who played a slave owner in the 2013 film.

“While we were rehearsing Django Unchained, Leo [DiCaprio] said, ‘I don’t know if I can say ‘n*****’ this many times.’ Me and Quentin said that you have to,” recalled Jackson.

“Every time someone wants an example of overuse of the n-word, they go to Quentin [Tarantino]– 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 film-maker.”

Jackson and DiCaprio starred opposite Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz in Tarantino’s hit film.

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