Joe Rogan has often created headlines by discussing controversial topics on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. The UFC color commentator recently gave rise to controversy by hosting several outspoken skeptics of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Rogan's podcast recently came under fire as 270 doctors, scientists and healthcare workers organized a petition to have it taken down from Spotify due to alleged COVID-19 misinformation.
The renowned podcaster and comedian has said that he is not against COVID-19 vaccination and believes there is a good scientific foundation supporting the jab. However, he argues that people shouldn't be quick to receive the vaccine if they’re not part of the "vulnerable" population.
During an episode of JRE, Rogan explained his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine. He did not refute the legitimacy of the medicine, saying:
"There is some legitimate science behind this. The thing about people being upset at me... I'm not an anti-vax person. In fact, I said, I believe they're safe and I encourage many people to take them. I just said, I don't think that if you are a young, healthy person that you need it."
He feels that people at risk should be vaccinated, adding:
"If someone said, 'You have young, healthy 21-year-old people who eat well and exercise [and] are not at high risk for coronavirus, but you should think about other people.' I would say, well, that's a different argument and, yes, that makes sense. But I would say, are those people vaccinated? Shouldn't you vaccinate the vulnerable?"
Watch Rogan discuss the vaccine below:
Joe Rogan apologizes amid the backlash
Musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, among others, recently boycotted the platform as it continues to host the JRE podcast and have both subsequently removed their music libraries from Spotify. Following the criticism, the platform has announced its decision to add content advisories for all podcasts mentioning COVID-19.
Rogan took to Instagram to apologize to Spotify and clarify his stance regarding the controversy. He claimed he's not trying to spread misinformation and is only interested in "telling the truth."
"I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time and I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much heat from it. Do I get things wrong? Absolutely. I get things wrong, but I try to correct them whenever I get something wrong. I try to correct it because I’m interested in telling the truth. I’m interested in finding out what the truth is, and I’m interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions. I’m not interested in only talking to people that have one perspective."