Joe Rogan issued a public apology Friday for repeating a false claim about the Oregon fires.
The comedian/MMA commentator echoed the misinformation during a recent episode of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, while discussing the civil unrest in Portland.
"There is a madness going on there," Rogan told guest Douglas Murray. "You want to talk about madness of crowds. That exemplifies that right now. They have arrested people for lighting forest fires up there. They have arrested left-wing people for lighting these forest fires. You know, air quote, activist, and this is also something that is not widely being reported, you know, that people have actually been arrested for lighting fires up there."
Rogan was referencing a widely circulated report that was debunked by the FBI. "Reports that extremists are setting wildfires in Oregon are untrue," the FBI's Portland office tweeted last week. "Help us stop the spread of misinformation by only sharing information from trusted, official sources."
A day after the Murray episode aired, Rogan, facing heavy criticism on social media, took to social media to admit he had "fucked up."
"I was very irresponsible not looking into it before I repeated it," he wrote. "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."
The Joe Rogan Experience is among the most popular podcasts in the world, reportedly racking over 200 million listens and views a month. The show's popularity helped secure Rogan a $100 million deal with Spotify. However, Vice recently reported that some Spotify employees have expressed concern over the deal, citing Rogan's controversial statements, including comments about transgender people.
"In the case of Joe Rogan, a total of 10 meetings have been held with various groups and individuals to hear their respective concerns," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said, according to three sources. "And some of them want Rogan removed because of things he's said in the past."
The streaming giant responded to the report with the following statement.
"At Spotify, we are strongly committed to the LGBTQ+ community and diversity in all of its forms. All employees are respected and we believe that everyone has a right to be heard. We have a number of forums for open and transparent discussion and we encourage rigorous debate on topics across the company. All content on Spotify is subject to our long-standing content guidelines. Our diverse team of experts reviewed the content in question and determined that it did not meet the criteria for removal from our platform.