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Podcast host, "The Joe Rogan Experience"
- Updated: April 21, 2023
—Said transgender swimmer Lia Thomas competing in women’s college athletics could be “the woke straw that broke society’s camel’s back.” On an episode of his podcast, Rogan said, “What it is now is not good. What it is now is an assault on women’s sports.” He continued, “Women are so frustrated, or parents. If your daughter is competing and they’re competing against a trans woman, it’s just not fair… No matter what anybody says. There’s this nonsense idea, of like well there’s outliers, there are outliers, and then there are biological males. That’s beyond outliers.” In fact, Thomas has complied with all policies and protocols to participate in the women’s swimming category. She followed all NCAA guidelines in place at the time of her transition and afterward to be eligible to swim for a women’s collegiate team. The NCAA announced on February 10, 2022, that Thomas is eligible for the 2022 women’s swimming and diving championships in March.
—Expressed support for Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation and accused teachers of “grooming” kids: “I think a lot of people are saying, ‘No, I just don’t want you grooming my kids.’” Sexual grooming is a preparatory process in which a perpetrator gradually gains a person’s or organization’s trust with the intent to be sexually abusive. Claiming, despite evidence to the contrary, that gay people are pedophiles, is a long-used scapegoating tactic by religious fundamentalists around the globe, and is a tactic used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to garner support for his gay “propaganda” ban.
—Misgendered four-star admiral and United States Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine saying, “Rachel Levine is the guy — well, was a guy, excuse me, became a woman and then became the first female like multi-starred admiral in the — I don’t want to f*** this up” as well as using the wrong pronouns for Levine.
—With podcast guest Monty Franklin commented on University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas’s appearance: “It seems kind of crazy when someone, like, really looks like a man and you can’t even say that anymore. Like, you’re not allowed to bring it up?” Later, he and his guest Monty Franklin also briefly discussed Lia’s genitalia.
—Linked trans people to the collapse of civilization. Rogan suggested that the increased visibility and acceptance of transgender people is a sign of a collapse of civilization. Citing British writer Douglas Murray, he said, “He had an amazing point about civilizations collapsing, and that when they start collapsing they become obsessed with gender. And he was saying that you could trace it back to the ancient Romans, the Greeks.” He also cited Abigail Shrier’s book and the flawed concept of “rapid onset gender dysphoria” earlier in the conversation with Jordan Peterson where Peterson compared the increase of transgender people coming out as “social contagion.”
—Amplified harmful anti-trans lies on his Spotify podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Rogan and his guest, former Canadian psychology professor and far-right provocateur Jordan Peterson, speculated, without any basis, on what causes a person to be trans. Peterson asserted that the answer is a “sociological contagion” comparable to “the satanic ritual abuse accusations that emerged in daycares in the 1980s.” Peterson voiced his opposition to the Canadian federal Bill C-16, which added gender identity to the country’s human right protections, and baselessly argued that amending “sex categories” in nondiscrimination measures would “fatally confuse thousands of young girls.”
—Asserted, without basis, that “men transitioning to women use male tactics and male behavior as they invade feminist spaces,” “tend to be more assertive,” and “dominate whenever possible if left unchecked.”
—Said LGBTQ people are the “most vicious” at ostracizing others because “they’ve been bullied” and are seeking revenge. Rogan claimed, without basis, “It’s also people that—they don’t have a lot of love in their life… If they do have love, it’s like, very conditional and it’s very precarious.” Rogan said that those on the left are focused on trying to get people fired—adding that “most of those people have experienced deep pain in their life.… The most vicious sh*t is coming from like transgender people or gay people.”
—Baselessly claimed that “there’s not a lot of overwhelming, overt discrimination against people who are trans, like, publicly other than the sports thing” and prisons.
—Discussed whether acceptance of trans people signals “the end of America” with guest Douglas Murray, associate editor of The Spectator, on Rogan’s Spotify podcast. He described the participation of trans women in sports to be “repulsive.” Murray asserted, without evidence, that the acceptance of transgender people is “an end-of-empire discussion. At the end of every empire they get interested in sexual fluidity, hermaphrodite, and so on.” Rogan said, “That is fascinating that at the end of empires they get really concerned with gender, and hermaphrodites, and those things.”
—Made the inflammatory and false claim on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast that living with the Kardashian women, whom he called “b*tches,” were the cause of Jenner’s transition. He said, “…maybe if you live with crazy b*tches long enough, they f*cking turn you into one. Maybe you go crazy.” Rogan repeatedly misgendered and deadnamed Jenner throughout the episode, questioned the authenticity of her identity, and lamented that, “We lost a f*cking Olympic gold medalist, g*ddamn it. We lost one of our greatest athletes ever. You look in the record book, what does it say now under [Cailtyn Jenner]? What does it say? Are you even allowed to say that anymore?” In the same episode, he advanced the right-wing lie that the LGBTQ community embraces pedophilia as “as a sexual inclination, as a sexual proclivity,” and lied about California law claiming that “A 20-year-old man can have a 10-year-old boyfriend. And as long as it’s within the 10-year boundary, you’re OK.” California law does not legalize pedophilia.
—Lied about transgender youth throughout a nearly two-hour coversation with Wall Street Journal opinion writer Abigail Shrier, including pushing dangerous misinformation and making comparisons between being transgender and anorexia, demon posession, and being in a cult. While promoting Shrier’s anti-trans book Irreversible Damage, Rogan encouraged parents to reject their children’s transgender identities. Multiple times he and Shrier described trans youth as a “social contagion,” Shrier’s flawed thesis, and likened it to cutting or eating disorders, conditions that can be exacerbated by peer pressure. Rogan said, “It seems like that’s really the only way these people that are going through this with their children are ever going to get any light at the end of the tunnel is to see that some people have already done this and to learn from the mistakes of the past and to learn from the problems that these kids have encountered upon transitioning and that this groupthink model, this ‘contagion,’ as you describe it, does happen to kids. It happens with cutting. It happens with even suicide pacts. It happens with a lot of weird stuff that kids—particularly kids that feel like they’re outcasts and they’re depressed. It’s a real problem.” Shrier said that transitioning is “one form of self-harm” for trans youth and said that trans boys are “the same population that gets involved in cutting, demonic possession, witchcraft, anorexia, bulimia, and convinces themselves there’s a problem.”
—Misgendered MMA fighter Fallon Fox on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” his Spotify podcast, disapproving of Fox’s divisional affiliation as a female athlete and saying, “She calls herself a woman but… I tend to disagree… She wants to be able to fight women in MMA. I say no f*cking way.… That’s a man, OK?”
—Used anti-gay slur to describe journalist Tomas Rios, writing on a mixed martial arts message board that he’d gotten Rios fired and added, “You wanted my attention, f*ggot? You got it.” In his so-called apology, Rogan wrote, “I enjoy that word immensely, and although I do not intend for its use to be interpreted as a negative term for homosexuals, but rather as I’ve always used it to imply that a person is weak and pathetic, which I believe Rios to be… As for my use of the offensive word ‘f*ggot’ please accept my apologies and replace it with ‘c*ck-sucker.'”
—Defended his use of an anti-LGBTQ slur saying in an interview that “f*ggot” is not off-limits and that the word doesn’t mean what LGBTQ people say it does: “You can’t do that. You can’t decide that a word is forbidden now collectively amongst your group of human beings, that the word is a slanderous evil nasty word about homosexuals… The word doesn’t mean that.”
The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.
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For GLAAD Media Institute Alum Kevin Anderson, interviews with journalists have become increasingly prevalent in…