Joe Rogan apologized for spreading misinformation about Oregon fires amid Spotify employee backlash
- Podcast host Joe Rogan apologized for echoing a false claim that that "left-wing activists" had been arrested on suspicion of setting forest fires in Oregon.
- In a recent episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience," Rogan referenced false reports of left-wing extremists setting fires — reports that the FBI had confirmed to be "untrue."
- On Friday, Rogan posted a video on Instagram in which he said he was "duped" and wanted to make an apology and a retraction.
- The podcaster called the mistake "irresponsible" and he promised to take the incident into account when reporting future stories.
- Rogan has been in hot water this week after facing criticism about segments deemed to be transphobic by some listeners. At Spotify, with which Rogan has a streaming deal, some employees have pushed leadership to address the criticisms.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Podcast host Joe Rogan is apologizing for echoing a false claim about the ongoing wildfires in Portland, Oregon.
On Thursday, the "Joe Rogan Experience" host repeated a debunked claim that left-wing activists had been arrested on suspicion of setting forest fires in Oregon.
"They've arrested left-wing people for lighting these forest fires — you know, air-quote 'activists,'" the 53-year-old said on his latest podcast episode in which he spoke with author and political commentator Douglas Murray. "This is also something that's not being widely reported, you know, that people have actually been arrested for lighting fires up there."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement, however, confirmed that recent reports of "extremists" setting wildfires were, in fact, false.
"With our state and local partners, he FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue," Loren Cannon, the special agent in charge of the FBI office covering Portland, said in a statement posted to Twitter by FBI Portland.
Twitter user @AlexPattyy re-shared a clip of Rogan echoing the false claim to Twitter, where it quickly racked up 2 million views and outraged comments from viewers demanding accountability from Spotify, as Rogan signed an exclusive deal with the platform in May.
"I mean, is Spotify trying to get people killed?" one commenter wrote.
"Why would they put someone who spreads lies on their platform? Maybe boycott @Spotify?" another said, echoing a proposal that was posted by numerous users.
Spotify did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
On Friday, Rogan apologized in an Instagram video
"I need to make an apology and a retraction," Rogan said in a video posted to his account. "I said something on the podcast with Douglas Murray about people getting arrested for lighting fires, and I got duped. It's wrong."
Rogan continued, claiming that had confused false reports about firesetting in Portland with another instance of fire-starting, and he repeated the story "without looking into it."
"It was very irresponsible," he said. "I just didn't check. I made a mistake. I f—– up and I'm sorry if I duped you as well."
The podcaster concluded the video by promising to take the incident into account when reporting in the future.
"I don't take it lightly," he said.
I fucked up on the podcast with Douglas Murray and said that people got arrested lighting fires in Portland. That turns out to not be true. I was very irresponsible not looking into it before I repeated it. I read one story about a guy getting arrested for lighting fires that turned out to be true, but the other shit I read about people getting arrested for lighting fires in Portland was not true. I repeated it without looking into it and it was a really fucking stupid mistake that won’t happen again. I’m sorry.
A post shared byJoe Rogan (@joerogan) on Sep 18, 2020 at 11:06am PDT
The apology follows a turbulent week for Rogan, who faced backlash for a recent episode of his podcast in which he suggested that Kardashian "b—-es" had "made" Caitlyn Jenner transgender, while misgendering Jenner throughout the episode and using her dead name.
"We lost a f—ing Olympic gold medalist, goddamn it. We lost one of our greatest athletes ever," he said of Jenner.
The episode, Vice reported, sparked an internal struggle among Spotify employees who voiced concern over the platform's relationship with Rogan and his content.
In an interview with TMZ, Jenner called him a "homophobic, transphobic a–."
Caitlyn Jenner calls Joe Rogan a 'transphobic a–' over his joke that the Kardashians made her trans
Joe Rogan falsely blamed forest fires in Oregon on 'left-wing' activists
Spotify is reportedly fighting with employees about hosting episodes of Joe Rogan's podcast that some consider transphobic
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