Advocates for the Los Angeles homeless community blame Joe Rogan for promoting violence against the homeless on his influential podcast.
In recent interviews with Variety, homeless advocates criticized the latest installment of The Joe Rogan Experience, which included a discussion about homelessness in LA between the host and fellow guest Tom Segura.
During the episode, which aired July 14 on Spotify, Rogan reacted with surprise when comedian Segura pointed out that the property of homeless people in LA is “protected property…by law.”
“Oh, a homeless person’s property is protected?” Rogan asked, to which Segura replied “absolutely,” implying that anyone attempting to “move” or “take” an unhoused person’s belongings would face consequences for their actions would have to calculate.
“You would be arrested,” Rogan said. “Hilarious. But they wouldn’t arrest you if you shoot someone. Maybe you should just shoot the homeless.”
“I like your ideas,” Segura told Rogan, who claimed that “nobody is doing anything about violent crime in LA anymore.”
Suffice it to say, Rogan’s remarks weren’t well received on social media or by local activists.
Theo Henderson, a homeless advocate who created the We the Unhoused podcast, expressed concern that Rogan’s “disgusting” comments could provoke listeners to harming homeless people in real life.
“It’s annoying because not only is it out of touch, but the reality is that people without shelters are being targeted by people with shelters,” Henderson told Variety.
“To advocate shooting at homeless people or just giving these dog whistles to people who don’t see homeless people as human beings – I can’t believe you would advocate for that.”
Also “surprised and saddened” by Rogan’s behavior was Andy Bales, president of the downtown LA homeless shelter Union Rescue Mission. After listening to Rogan’s podcast, Bales invited the host to “come over to the Union Rescue Mission to see … streets and who these people he’s talking about are.”
“The comments about the start of homeless killings are too close to reality to be comfortable because last year’s killings of homeless people in Los Angeles were up 47% from a year ago,” Bales told Variety.
“In Los Angeles there is already an unfortunate vigilance towards people who are devastated by homelessness and they don’t need encouragement.”
Last week’s episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” also sparked a sharp backlash on social media.
“What rubbish and actually dangerous comments given his influence” tweeted PR and communications consultant Meggan Ellingboewho asked Spotify to donate to local non-profit radio station Dublab in support of Henderson’s podcast.
Hey @SpotifyUSA – are you okay with this kind of dangerous, stupid babble?” @joe_curtaincall tweeted. “If a homeless man gets shot soon, will you defend Rogan?”
“How deserted do you have to be to even discuss or even joke about an idea like this???” actress and biologist Christine Heideman tweeted.
Of course, this is far from the first time Rogan has come under fire for things he said on his show, which has more listeners than any other podcast on Spotify. Earlier this year, Neil Young and other entertainment luminaries left the streaming platform to protest Rogan’s “spreading false information” about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Singer-songwriter India Arie, who boycotted Spotify alongside Young last winter, also called out for Rogan to “consciously be racist” and repeatedly say the N-word on his podcast.
After Arie posted video footage of Rogan using the racial slur about 20 times on social media, the podcast host apologized and said he hoped: “This could be an educational moment for anyone who doesn’t realize how.” that word could come out of a offensive mouth of a white person, in context or out of context.”
In response to criticism of his stance on the coronavirus, Rogan vowed to do his “best to try to reconcile these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives so maybe we can find a better viewpoint”.
A representative for Rogan did not immediately respond to the Times request for comment on Tuesday.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-07-19/joe-rogan-podcast-unhoused-homeless-people Joe Rogan slammed for violent remarks about homeless people