At a time where Internet culture has left many of us reconsidering our every post in light of how it might be received by those outside of our inner circle, Joe Rogan seems to hold true to days where one could speak their mind, freely and unabashed, without the threat of cancel culture hovering like a cloud above their head. Known for courting controversy with his world renowned podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, the podcast host didn’t hold back when it came to a discussion of “woke” culture and how it pertains to the straight white male.
According to Rogan, the days of straight white men having an opinion that could be voiced freely could be numbered. Addressing his world-wide audience of some 200 million listeners, Rogan explained that the so-called ‘woke culture’ is leading to a point where “straight white men are not allowed to talk.”
The episode saw Rogan joined by stand-up comedian Joe List, who recalled listening to an “earnest” conversion on a mental health podcast that suggested straight white men should avoid self-deprecating humour due to their privilege. “You can never be ‘woke’ enough, that’s the problem,” responded Rogan. “It keeps going. It keeps going further and further and further down the line, and if you get to the point where you capitulate, where you agree to all these demands, it’ll eventually get to straight white men are not allowed to talk.”
Rogan continued, “Because it’s your privilege to express yourself when other people of colour have been silenced throughout history. It will be, you’re not allowed to go outside. Because so many people were imprisoned for so many…”
While List (like many a listener) thought such statements were largely said in jest, Rogan continued in earnest, adamant that his argument held truth as he expressed, “I’m not joking.” He added: “It really will get there. It’s that crazy. We just gotta be nice to each other, man. And there’s a lot of people that are taking advantage of this weirdness in our culture, and then that becomes their thing. Their thing is calling people out for their privilege, calling people out for their position. You know, so, it’s f***ing crazy times.”
As cancel culture has reached something of a fever pitch in recent times, debate surrounding whether it has gone too far continues to divide. For many, cancel culture presents grave dangers as in simply cancelling people, we don’t offer them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to do better in the future. In many ways, it’s an easy solution that doesn’t address the root problem. That said, Rogan’s comments are hard to take seriously, particularly when coming from someone who sold his show to Spotify for a reported $100 million and is in no danger of being silenced.
As one social media user commented, “Respectfully, I would argue that not being allowed to talk is the exact opposite of the problem Joe Rogan has.” Another added, “Sharing space is not the same as being silenced, you f***.”
Safe to say, it’s not the first time Rogan has sparked heated debate over comments made on his podcast. Just recently he claimed far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was right “about actual microchips being injected into your arm to see if you have Covid-19,” a claim that has absolutely no merit to it whatsoever.