Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson angered his fans after he praised comedian and commentator Joe Rogan for posting a video in which he backed the audio streaming service Spotify's decision to add disclaimers on certain episodes of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, after he came under fire for for pushing various COVID-19-related conspiracy theories.
Rogan's video response, which he posted to Instagram, attracted the attention of Johnson, who said it was "perfectly articulated" before offering to join Rogan on his podcast some day "and breaking out the tequila with you."
The controversy surrounding Rogan and his podcast erupted in the last week after musician Neil Young threatened to cancel all of his music availability on Spotify, saying the company is "spreading false information about vaccines" because it distributes Rogan's podcast.
Young, in a since-deleted open letter, accused Spotify of "potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them" and said he could not in good conscience have his music distributed by a company that has played a role in spreading vaccine misinformation.
Young's demands come as public health experts urge Spotify to block Rogan, whose podcast is the most-listened to podcast on the audio-streaming service.
Young was praised for speaking out. Spotify said it would respect his wishes of removal, though it chose to keep Rogan's podcast on the service. Spotify later said it will add a content advisory to any podcast episode about COVID-19, adding that it would for the first time publicly post its long-standing Platform Rules.
Johnson's message drew the ire of his fans, who expressed their displeasure with the Fast and Furious actor for appearing to back Rogan's falsehoods.
Mere hours after he issued his statement and apologized for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, Rogan tweeted a false story claiming that Ivermectin, a toxic anti-parasitic used to treat parasitic worms, lice, and skin problems mostly in livestock, was shown to be effective against COVID-19's Omicron variant in a Phase III clinical trial.
Rogan tested positive for COVID-19 in September; at the time, he admitted he had treated himself with Ivermectin and claimed his "natural immunity" is reason enough not to get vaccinated, a claim that has long been debunked by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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