Dwayne Johnson Says He Was Not Aware of Joe Rogan’s ‘N-Word Use’ Prior to Defending Him

Dwayne Johnson is walking back his support of Joe Rogan. After the controversial podcast host apologized and said he was not trying to promote COVID misinformation on his podcast, Johnson took to Instagram to praise Rogan’s “perfectly articulated” response and to tell Rogan that he was looking forward to coming on his podcast. Then, several episodes of Rogan’s podcast in which the host uses the N-word resurfaced on social media in the days after Johnson showed support for Rogan, leading Rogan to apologize for his racist language.

In an Instagram post published over the weekend, Rogan called his N-word use “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly” and stressed that he has not used the N-word in years. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek then apologized to the company’s staff over Rogan’s racist language. Ek also announced Spotify would be investing $100 million in “marginalized” groups.

As the controversy around Rogan’s use of the N-word grew, author and political activist Don Winslow used social media to call out Johnson for his previous defense of Rogan. Winslow tweeted at Johnson the following: “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 replied by thanking Winslow for bringing to his attention Rogan’s N-word use, adding, “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.”

Amid the latest Rogan controversy, Spotify removed 70 episodes of Rogan’s podcast on Feb. 4. The dozens of episodes were originally recorded between 2009 and 2018.

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