Earlier this week, the Hollywood star was called out for his swift praise of the US podcaster, who has caused several musicians to boycott Spotify due to his spread of “misinformation’ about the Covid-19 vaccine.
In a lengthy video, Rogan addressed the situation, telling his followers that he thinks “a lot of people had a distorted perception of what I do”.
“[My] podcast has been accused of spreading dangerous misinformation, specifically about two episodes,” he said, adding: “I’m not trying to promote misinformation. I’m not trying to be controversial. I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations.”
In response to the video, Johnson wrote: “Great stuff here, brother. Perfectly articulated.” He added that he looks forward to “coming on one day and breaking out the tequila with you”.
A contingent of Johnson’s fans were disappointed with the actor’s response, and are now asking him to rethink his stance after a compilation of him saying the N-word more than 20 times resurfaced online.
The clip was shared by musician India Arie, who said she was removing her music from Spotify on Tuesday (1 February) because of Rogan’s “language around race”.
Elaborating in a later Instagram post, Arie shared the compilation that was stitched together from several episodes of Rogan’s podcast recorded before 2019.
“In no uncertain terms where I stand on this is he shouldn’t even be uttering the word,” Arie told her followers. “Don’t even say it – under any context.”
Another clip shows him comparing a Black neighbourhood to being in the film Planet of the Apes.
Alerting Johnson to the clips, author Don Winslow wrote: “You’re a hero to many people and using your platform to defend Joe Rogan, a guy that used and laughed about using the N word dozens of times, is a terrible use of your power. Have you actually listened to this man’s many racist statements about Black people?”
Johnson thanked Winslow for bringing the clips to his attention, and said that he has now “become educated to [Rogan’s] complete narrative”.
“Thank you so much for this, I hear you as well as everyone here 100 per cent. 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,” Johnson replied.
On Saturday (6 February), Rogan issued an apology on Instagram, stating: “There’s nothing I can do to take that back – I wish I could. I do hope, if anything, that this can be a teachable moment.”
Find his full apology here.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that Spotify has quietly removed 113 episodes of Rogan’s most controversial podcast episodes.