Joe Budden has apologized to DJ and podcast host Olivia Dope, who accused the rapper and media personality of sexual harassment.
Dope leveled the allegations in a video posted on Instagram on Monday, May 17th. She said Budden sat in on the recording of Episode 16 of See, the Thing Is — a female-led podcast on the Joe Budden Network — and “continuously made sexual, suggestive remarks to me that made me extremely uncomfortable as well as fearful of dampening the mood if I didn’t laugh along while he made those sexual remarks to me.”
Dope, who has since left See, the Thing Is, called the experience “traumatizing” and “embarrassing” and proceeded to mention several specific points during the episode where she said Budden was harassing her. She also stated that Budden suggested he and Dope should have sex numerous times during the recording. At one point, Budden asked Dope for an “on-air hug,” and Dope noted that when she later saw a video of the hug, she realized Budden “was moving his hips while he was hugging me.”
In a statement issued Tuesday, May 18th, Budden responded: “As a podcaster, it is my job to address topics and create dialogue around them. During the conversation on the See, The Thing Is podcast I didn’t handle the topics with the sensitivity they deserved. I recognize my words and power in that situation created an upsetting environment for Olivia. Upon reflection, both the network and I take accountability for this.”
He continued: “I apologize sincerely to Olivia, her former co-hosts, our staff, and the public. In an effort to not further any trauma, the episode will be removed from all platforms. We support all women’s rights to feel comfortable and protected in the workplace. We fell short of that in this instance. We support Olivia in her quest to heal, applaud her for finding the strength to share her experience, and wish her the best in all her future endeavors. I am taking the time to listen and learn; we have already begun to make the necessary changes to ensure this is a safe environment for all moving forward. We at the network endeavor to continue to elevate Black women’s voices and create opportunities to have constructive conversations to impact change.”