UFC color commentator and comedian Joe Rogan came under heavy public backlash earlier this year for his comments on COVID-19 vaccines and the use of racial slurs on his podcast.
Rogan's friend and fellow comic Whitney Cummings defended him on the controversies by tweeting that comedians never signed up to be heroes.
Her tweet read:
"Comedians did not sign up to be your hero. It’s our job to be irreverent and dangerous, to question authority and take you through a spooky mental haunted house so you can arrive at your own conclusions. Stay focused on the people we pay taxes to, to be moral leaders"
In a subsequent tweet, Cummings further said that instead of asking why so many people trust Rogan, the question should instead be why so few believe the mainstream media. Her tweet read:
"Don’t look to why so many people trust joe Rogan, look to why so few people trust the mainstream media"
Cummings has since faced backlash from the public and even fellow comedians for her stance on supporting Rogan. Author and media person Erick Bohlert responded to Cummings' comments by tweeting:
"he told his 11M listeners 'it’s more dangerous to be vaccinated than it is to get Covid' but sure haha, he’s just a comedian asking questions"
Spotify removes some of Joe Rogan's podcast episodes
Earlier this year, Spotify removed more than 100 episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience from the platform. The removals occurred as a result of the backlash the podcast received for allegedly spreading misinformation and the use of racial slurs.
The latest of these removals happened when about 70 episodes of the podcast were pulled after Rogan came under fire from doctors for his negative stance on COVID-19 vaccines.
Rogan and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Covid:
The podcast was further targeted by celebrities like India Arie for Rogan's use of the N-word racial slur on his podcast. The singer uploaded a video to her Instagram compiling 24 separate instances where Rogan used the word.
Some JRE episodes were also removed by the company right after the 2020 licensing of the podcast. The first removals were of episodes featuring far-right activists and conspiracy theorists.