Dwayne Johnson has told fans he’s had a “learning moment” after defending Joe Rogan amid the controversy surrounding his Spotify podcast.
Rogan has recently been called out for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on his The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which is exclusive to Spotify. Several high-profile musicians, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, have boycotted the platform as a result.
When Rogan shared a video addressing the situation, Johnson replied: “Great stuff here, brother. Perfectly articulated. Look forward to coming on one day and breaking out the tequila with you.”
The actor’s comment caused some division among his fans, particularly after musician India.Arie shared a compilation of Rogan repeatedly using the N-word.
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.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 5, 2022
Author Don Winslow helped bring the situation to Johnson’s attention on Twitter, writing: “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 later replied thanking Winslow. “I hear you as well as everyone here 100%,” he tweeted in response. “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.”
Spotify has since reportedly removed 70 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience that feature the host using the racist slur, although the episodes that feature talk about the coronavirus vaccine remain available.
Rogan has also apologised for using the N-word in a new Instagram video, in which he claimed the clips in the compilation were “taken out of context of twelve years of conversations on my podcast”. “I know to most people, there’s no context in which a white person is ever allowed to say that word and I agree with that now,” Rogan said. “I haven’t said it in years.”
He later added: “I would never want to offend someone for entertainment for something as stupid as racism. If anything, perhaps this can be a teachable moment for anyone who doesn’t realise how offensive that word can be coming out of a white person’s mouth. My sincerest apologies, it makes me sick just watching that video.”