Dwayne Johnson would like a do-over.
Last month, after Spotify signed Joe Rogan to a $100 million contract in order to broadcast his podcast, a number of artists (such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell) asked to have their music taken down from the streaming service.
They did so out of protest over this platform providing a home (and a ton of money) to someone who has been accused of spewing misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.
In response, Rogan issued an apology in which he vowed to make more of an effort to "balance out" the opinions on his program.
From there, Johnson applauded Rogan’s 10-minute video, writing in the comment section:
"Great stuff here brother. Perfectly articulated. Look forward to coming on one day and breaking out the tequila with you."
That was back then, toward the end of January.
Spotify has taken down 70 old episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience after learning that Rogan constantly used the N-Word on air, an act for which he issued yet another mea culpa late last week.
In an Instagram video, Rogan referred to these (many!) instances as "the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly," trying to argue at one point that he was "taken out of context," but admitting:
"It looks f-cking horrible. Even to me."
Continued Rogan on Friday:
"I know that to most people, there is no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast.
"And I agree with that now, I haven’t said it in years."
Rogan tried to reason that he often only used this racial epithet when quoting lines from movies or lyrics from songs — but, again, he now realizes that is no excuse.
Continuing, Rogan noted that the N-word is a "very unusual word," confessing, however, "it’s not my word to use."
It just took him awhile to arrive at this conclusion.
"I never used it to be racist, because I’m not racist.
"But whenever you’re in a situation where you have to say, ‘I’m not racist,’ you’ve f-cked up, and I clearly have f-cked up," Rogan added.
Where does Johnson fit into this scandal?
On February 4, author and activist Don Winslow called out Johnson the wildly popular actor for using his social media to "defend" Rogan, especially given the past use of the racist slur.
He asked the movie star:
"Have you actually listened to this man’s many racist statements about Black people?"
Johnson actually replied to Winslow over the weekend, acknowledging that he made an error in judgment.
"Thank you so much for this. 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," wrote Johnson.
"Learning moment for me.
"Mahalo, brother and have a great & productive weekend. DJ."
Offering his "sincere and humble apologies" a few days ago, Rogan noted he "wished there was more I could say, but all of this is just me talking from the bottom of my heart."
Added the polarizing podcast personality:
"It makes me sick watching that video.
"But hopefully, at least some of you will accept this and understand where I’m coming from."