Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, perhaps one of the highest-profile supporters of controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, appears to be wavering in his support after troubling indications that Rogan’s used the N-word in past public clips.
As Deadline reported, Johnson’s one of a growing list of celebrities who are expressing discontent over Rogan — reacting to India Arie’s decision to pull her music from Spotify. As Deadline reported Friday, the singer explained her decision with a video compilation showing Rogan using the N-word a total of 24 times in 23 different clips.
Johnson has previously shown support for Rogan in the ongoing controversy that’s seen a few major musical acts pull their music from the streaming platform in protest.
The comedian, UFC commentator, and former Fear Factor host has headlined his own show The Joe Rogan Experience show since 2009 across a variety of internet platforms. Currently on Spotify, the show has come under recent fire for peddling misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic via various guest he’s interviewed. Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are among those who preceded Arie in taking their music off Spotify in protest.
Last week, Rogan took to Instagram to record a video addressing the controversy, and Johnson co-signed it by saying, “Great stuff here, brother. Perfectly articulated.” Deadline added that Johnson “looked forward to one day appearing on Rogan’s podcast” and “breaking out the tequila” with Rogan.
But after being made aware of Rogan’s use of the N-word via a public Twitter exchange with activist Don Winslow, Johnson appeared to back away from Rogan, describing the revelation as a “learning moment.”
As many consider Johnson a potential future presidential candidate, this episode could prove a key one should Johnson indeed vie to lead and serve all Americans.
The Joe Rogan Experience is still available on Spotify, though as Mother Jones and others reported today, more than 70 episodes have been pulled from the platform with no explanation from Spotify as to why.