The controversy surrounding Joe Rogan has drawn the attention of former President Trump, who is urging the podcaster to “stop apologizing” to his detractors.
“Joe Rogan is an interesting and popular guy, but he’s got to stop apologizing to the Fake News and Radical Left maniacs and lunatics,” Trump said in a statement dated Feb. 7 and posted to Twitter early Tuesday by spokeswoman Liz Harrington.
Rogan, who was signed to a $100-million contract with Spotify in 2020, has been in the spotlight since rocker Neil Young threatened Jan. 24 that he would pull his music from the streaming service unless it cut ties with its hottest client. Rogan has been accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines and recently apologized for making racist remarks on his podcast.
Young, who became a U.S. citizen in 2019, told Spotify in an open letter that it could “have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
But the drama continued, with other artists joining Young in his boycott. Rogan promised that he would try to do a better job of balancing different perspectives and would put more time into researching topics.
While Rogan said that “many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago [the efficacy of cloth masks, whether the vaccinated can transmit the virus] are now accepted as fact,” he agreed with Spotify’s plans to put a disclaimer at the beginning of episodes that deal with COVID-19 discussions outside the mainstream consensus.
Days later, dozens of episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience” were taken down and the host apologized last Saturday for using the N-word in the past.
Citing his behavior as her reason for leaving Spotify, musician India Arie posted a video compilation showing Rogan uttering the racist slur multiple times on his show. Actor Dwayne Johnson rescinded his support for Rogan after that, saying it had been a “learning moment for me.” (Former presidential hopeful Andrew Yang also stepped into the drama.)
“I know for most people there’s no context where a white person is allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that now,” Rogan said in an Instagram video Saturday morning. “I haven’t said it in years, but for a long time, when I would bring that word up, instead of saying the N-word, I would just say the word.”
Trump wondered in his statement when enough would be enough.
“How many ways can you say you’re sorry?,” the former president said. “Joe, just go about what you do so well and don’t let them make you look weak and frightened. That’s not you and it never will be!”
Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had ridden the pro-Rogan band wagon a day earlier.
“If they can cancel @joerogan they can cancel anyone… and that’s always been the point. You must all submit and obey,” Trump Jr. tweeted Monday morning. That evening, he followed up with, “Stand with @joerogan or it will only be a matter of time before they leftist elite come for you or your loved ones for not complying with their desires.”
Meanwhile, Rogan had no comment or reply on social media to the Trumps — or anyone else, for that matter. As of Tuesday morning, the podcaster hadn’t tweeted since Sunday. But over on Instagram? Rogan posted NSFW video of a flaming dessert that looked a little bit like a burning pile of — well, you can decide for yourself.
“When people are like, ‘how are you handling all this [BS]?’ I send them this,” Rogan wrote in the caption. “Plus I’m on [mushrooms].”