On Monday, Olivia Dope, New York City DJ and former co-host of See, The Thing Is…. on the Joe Budden Network, accused Joe Budden of sexual harassment.
The entire network was championed as a platform by creators for creators, and a place for female creatives. But the former podcast co-host said she felt forced to depart from the show after Joe Budden sexually harassed her on-air.
Olivia made the accusations in a 25-minute video posted to Instagram. “I am doing this video today to finally explain my departure from the See, The Thing Is podcast as well as the Joe Budden Network. I sat with this for three months, anxiously debating with myself if I feel comfortable enough to express my reasoning for my departure.”
“I am here today, still uncomfortable, but I find the bravery to speak out on a very embarrassing situation,” she continued. “On Jan. 18, 2021, Joe Budden sat in on a recording of the female-led podcast I was a part of 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. Those moments not only live on the internet forever, it also forced me into the decision of quitting the podcast.”
In response, Joe Budden released a statement to Rolling Stone, acknowledging his faults and apologizing to Dope.
“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. 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.”– Joe Budden
This event is one of many in a tumultuous week for Budden. After firing his co-hosts and his “nearest and dearest friends,” Budden released an apology during his podcast.
“Seeing all of this feedback and all this—I do need to apologize to Rory, as well. Maybe Rory and Mal, too, but definitely Rory,” the former emcee said in the most recent episode of the podcast, adding that, “things sound a lot spicier in the go-out.”
His apology did not stop Rory and Mal from releasing their own response.
“Black people love to discredit one another. It’s a disease that kills our community,” Mal said on Twitter before the release. “I’ve been cool and quiet for too long. I’m allowed to get out of character for at least an hour. Maybe 40 mins. The truth is usually short and simple.”
One of the many people to see the incident online and chime in was Kevin Hart, who criticized Budden and stated he exhibits poor leadership.