As Joe Rogan apologized over the weekend for past controversial remarks found in two viral videos containing podcast clips dating back several years, a third video also resurfaced.
Joe Rogan has found himself to be one of the most controversial figures in 2022 thus far. First, over 200 individuals wrote an open letter to Spotify calling on the company to take action against The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. This came after the December 31, 2021 episode featuring Dr. Robert Malone, who is specifically being accused of spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19.
The authors of the letter were soon joined by music legends Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in the shared belief that Rogan’s podcast is using the Spotify platform to spread “deadly misinformation” that is causing real harm to the general public. Both Young and Mitchell requested to have their music removed from Spotify in protest of Rogan’s continued presence on the app.
Rogan addressed these concerns in a video last week, where he apologized if he made anyone angry but insisted that it was not his intention to be controversial. He reiterated that his podcast is a place for multiple perspectives to be heard, even if he does not agree with each guest. He also expressed an openness to making changes to the presentation of his content, specifically the order in which guests are scheduled so that opposing views could potentially be heard in consecutive episodes.
Many people praised Rogan for his apology, with Chael Sonnen calling it a “home run.” Even Trevor Noah of The Daily Show praised Rogan for much of what he had to say in the video. Rogan also had the backing of his many loyal supports and those who resist any strain of the “cancel culture” virus many believe is infecting American society.
Rogan Hit With A Second Controversy Over The Weekend
As Neil Young and Joni Mitchell requested to have their music removed from Spotify in protest of Rogan, another multi-time Grammy-award-winning artist, India Arie, added her name to the Spotify protest. However, Arie’s reason had nothing to do with COVID-19 misinformation and was based on very dated remarks from Rogan’s podcast that were unearthed.
The first video is a compilation of Rogan repeatedly saying the word “ni**er” with a hard “er.” The second video features Rogan comparing his arrival in an all-black neighborhood to landing in The Planet of the Apes.
Below, you can view both videos as well as India Arie’s explanation for why Rogan remaining on Spotify on such a lucrative deal is unacceptable when, as she claims, podcasters of color and music artists are being underpaid (right arrow leads to next video). (h/t Hollywood Unlocked)
Of note, UFC fighter Curtis Blaydes was among the 27,000-plus individuals who liked the above post.
Rogan Issues Apology, Swarmed With Support From MMA Community
Rogan would soon address both videos in an apology released on his Instagram page over the weekend.
Rogan began by calling this situation “the most regretful and shameful thing” he’s ever had to discuss publicly. Rogan says that his use of “the N-word” was taken out of context by the video creator, whom he accuses of using handpicked clips from over a decade of podcast content. However, he made sure to point out that this was no excuse and that he should have never used the word for any reason, to begin with.
Regarding the Planet of the Apes remarks, Rogan stated the following:
“And there’s another clip that I have to address. There’s a clip from 11 years ago. I was telling a story on the podcast about how me and my friend Tommy and his girlfriend, we got really high, we were in Philadelphia, and we went to go see Planet of the Apes. And we didn’t know where we were going, we just got dropped off by a cab, and we got dropped off in this all-black neighborhood. And I was trying to make the story entertaining. And I said, ‘We got out, and it was like we were in Africa. It’s like we were in Planet of the Apes.’
“I did not, nor would I ever, say that black people are apes, but it sure fuckin’ sounded like that. And I immediately afterwards said, ‘That’s a racist thing to say. Planet of the Apes wasn‘t even in Africa.’ I was just saying, ‘There’s a lot of black people there.’
“Then, I went on to talk about what a positive experience it was and how much fun it was to go to see this movie in a black neighborhood. It wasn’t a racist story, but it sounded terrible. And like I said, you can have clunky stories about anything, but not about race.”
You can view the full apology below.
Rogan was again praised for the apology, with many in the MMA community, including fighters, showering him with support.
“I’ll take Joe Rogan over all these bozos!” Frankie Edgar wrote.
“If they can cancel Joe they can cancel anyone. Time to stand up people,” said Ben Askren.
“I support @joerogan” – Marlon Vera
“This world and nation are in a strange place right now and the people who bring dialogue in seek of the truth are not our enemies. @joerogan is a friend with a huge heart for everyone,” wrote Josh Thompson.
“We not cancelling @joerogan today y’all trying way to hard,” posted Mike Rhodes.
“I don’t feel Joe Rogan is racist, and I don’t need white people telling me what he says is supposed to offend me,” said UFC newcomer Terrance McKinney.
This is just a snapshot of the overwhelming support Rogan received from people in the MMA community of various races, genders, and political affiliations.
There was, however, a very prominent public figure who revoked his support for Rogan.
Dwayne Johnson Revokes Support For Joe Rogan, Third Controversial Video Resurfaces
Recently, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson expressed a desire to appear on Joe Rogan’s podcast as a show of support for Rogan during the Spotify “misinformation” controversy.
However, after the two aforementioned viral videos hit the web, best-selling author Don Winslow pressed the Hollywood superstar to denounce that support. Johnson accommodated this request after being further “educated” on Rogan’s past content.
“Dear @donwinslow Thank you so much for this I hear you as well as everyone here 100% I was not aware of his N word use prior to my comments, but now I’ve become educated to his complete narrative. Learning moment for me. Mahalo, brother and have a great & productive weekend. DJ” Johnson wrote.
Mr. Winslow referenced “many racist statements” regarding black people from Rogan, but he did not enumerate which statements he was referring to. While it is possible he was only mentioning the two video clips that went viral over the weekend, it is also possible that both Winslow and Johnson were made aware of a third video that also recently resurfaced.
In the video, Rogan implies that white people are genetically more intelligent than black people after a guest told him he has a black father and white mother. You can view that clip below.
“Powerful combination, genetic-wise, right? You get the body of the black man, and you get the mind of the white man altogether in some strange combination. It doesn’t, by the way, mean that black people don’t have brains. It’s a different brain. Don’t get me wrong,” Rogan said.
Again, it is unclear if this is part of the “complete narrative” that Johnson was referring to, but there is no doubt that these remarks are racially charged and highly questionable.
The subject of white intellectual superiority over blacks dates back centuries and continues to be linked to white supremacy to this day. In fairness to Rogan, the above clip, not unlike the Planet of the Apes clip, is from many moons ago. But unlike the two videos Rogan addressed over the weekend, this video has not yet been addressed as of this writing, thus it is unclear if his views have changed or if he feels he was taken out of context by the isolated selection of this video clip.
It is also unknown what Rogan said immediately following this clip. However, based solely on the audio evidence at hand, at best, Rogan spouted historical stereotypes considered harmful, especially by people of color who have testified that they struggle against such perceptions in their daily lives.
While some may consider such a dated clip irrelevant and yet another example of “cancel culture,” clearly, as demonstrated by Dwayne Johnson’s and even Curtis Blaydes’ response to past clips of Rogan, there are many individuals and groups who take an interest in being fully aware of past questionable remarks made by someone. This is especially the case when the remarks are regarding race and if the individual in question has a large platform.
That said, as UFC President Dana White recently articulated, it’s highly unlikely that Rogan will be “canceled” in any impactful way, regardless of any past remarks. Even if he were to be removed from Spotify, Rogan still has the #1 podcast in the country, over 20 million social media followers, and a very wide-reaching and loyal fanbase. In addition, as demonstrated by the support received in recent days, he remains one of the most beloved members of the MMA community.
What are your thoughts on this third resurfaced video from Joe Rogan?