For the most part, Dwayne Johnson doesn’t tap into anything too controversial, but when it comes to Joe Rogan, apparently, he can’t help himself. Per New York Times, back in 2020 Spotify signed an exclusivity deal with Rogan for around $200 million. By the time 2022 rolled around, artists such as Neil Young protested what they believed to be Spotify’s support of misinformation on Rogan’s show regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, and pulled their catalogs from the platform.
Initially, when Rogan posted a video to Instagram addressing the controversy, Johnson appeared to support him. “Great stuff here brother,” he reportedly commented on the post, per CNN. “Perfectly articulated. Look forward to coming on [the show] one day and breaking out the tequila with you.” Johnson’s comment appears to have since been deleted. Despite the video, the controversy was far from over. People began digging into Rogan’s past and unearthed some less than savory stuff, including his allegedly flippant use of racial slurs (Rogan later issued a public apology for his past behavior).
When Johnson was confronted by his fans about the controversy, he publicly distanced himself from Rogan and his previous comments. “I hear you as well as everyone here 100%,” he tweeted in response to crime writer Don Winslow, who criticized his support of the podcast host. “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.”