07 February 2022

Dwayne Johnson withdraws Joe Rogan support after podcaster’s past racial slurs are highlighted

07 February 2022

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has backtracked on his previous comments of support for Joe Rogan after old clips of the controversial podcaster using racial slurs were brought to his attention.

Rogan’s Spotify podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, has come underfire in recent weeks for spreading missinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine.

It prompted a slew of musicians including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist Nils Lofgren, to demand that their music be removed from the streaming platform as they didn’t want to be associated with Rogan, who has a multi-million exclusivity deal with Spotify.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have their own lucrative deal with the streaming giant, have also voiced “concerns” about Rogan’s podcast.

In response, Rogan issued a video apology on Instagram where he promised that he would “try harder” going forward.

Former wrestler-turned-actor Johnson, saluted him for his apology, commenting on the video: “Great stuff here, brother. Perfectly articulated.”

Adding that he looked forward to one day appearing on Rogan’s show and “breaking out the tequila”.

Now, a video compilation has surfaced showing Rogan using racial slurs in clips of episodes spanning 12 years.

Rogan has issued a further apology, saying that it is the “most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly”.

He insisted however that the clips were “taken out of context”.

Rogan’s critics were deeply disappointed to see Johnson publicly supporting him, with many pointing out that the podcaster’s problematic past is hardly limited to vaccine misinformation.

When crime author Don Winslow asked the Jungle Cruise star if he was aware of Rogan’s previously liberal use of racial slurs, Johnson claimed that he had no idea. He thanked Winslow for pointing out Rogan’s “complete narrative”, and stressed it was a “learning moment” for him, seemingly withdrawing his previous support.

Spotify removed around 70 episodes of Rogan’s podcast from its app over the weekend, including one from 2015 featuring an interview with far-right commentator Chuck Johnson, in which Johnson told Rogan that black people had a genetic “proclivity to violence.”

In a leaked email sent to staff yesterday, Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek has apologised for the “incredibly hurtful” comments made by Rogan, but said that he believes “silencing” the popular host is “not the answer”.

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