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‘I Was Not Aware’: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Seemingly Walks Back Joe Rogan Praise Amid ’N-Word’ Scandal

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has seemingly withdrawn his public support of Joe Rogan. In recent weeks, the controversial podcaster has come under fire over resurfaced clips in which he repeatedly used racist language and the N-word.

In a Twitter post shared on Friday, Feb. 4, the 49-year-old Johnson apologized for prematurely praising Rogan’s response to the overwhelming backlash he received for his podcast promoting COVID-19 information — which triggered several musicians to pull their music from Spotify where Rogan’s show “The Joe Rogan Experience” is hosted. 

Dwayne Johnson (L) and Joe Rogan (R). Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for DJ, Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The former athlete claimed that he was unaware of the media personality’s prior use of the N-word. “Thank you so much for this,” Johnson replied to a tweet from author Don Winslow, who brought the incident to the “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” star’s attention.

“I hear you as well as everyone here 100%,” Johnson continued, “I was not aware of his N word use prior to my comments, but now I’ve become educated to his complete narrative.” Johnson described the ordeal as a “learning moment for me.”  “Mahalo, brother and have a great & productive weekend. DJ,” he concluded his post. 

Earlier this month, Grammy Award-winning singer India.Arie revealed that she was boycotting Spotify, and threatened to remove her catalog after sharing a compilation of Rogan using the N-word multiple times on his show.

In a memo posted to her Instagram page, the “Brown Skin” singer wrote, “Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through. I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews… FOR ME  ITS ALSO HIS language around race.”

In another slide, she wrote, “What I am talking about is RESPECT — who gets it and who doesn’t. Paying musicians Fraction of a penny? And HIM $100M? This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep.”

Rogan since has issued an apology stating that he only used the word when referencing late Black comedians like Red Foxx, Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney, instances where people were fired for using it, and the annoyance of how Black people are the only group of people able to use the word.

He maintained that he was never calling anybody the word, but just “merely saying the word out loud.” He concluded by stating that the N-word is  “a very unusual word, but it’s not my word to use. I’m well aware of it now.” 


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