Metro Weekly

Joe Rogan continues to attack transgender people on his Spotify podcast

Rogan has a history of promoting anti-transgender guests and rhetoric

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan — Image via YouTube

Joe Rogan continues to use his Spotify-hosted podcast to spread anti-transgender rhetoric — this time claiming that acceptance of trans people will lead to societal collapse.

The comedian is already under fire for using his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, to spread COVID-19 misinformation. Spotify, which exclusively hosts Rogan’s podcast, has refused to censor him — leading multiple artists to pull their catalogs from the streaming audio service in response.

But in a recent episode, Rogan once again turned his attention to transgender people, after previous episodes in which he and his guests have compared being trans to having anorexia, have pushed debunked claims about medical procedures on trans youth, and decried that they can’t use anti-trans slurs.

Speaking to former psychology professor and right-wing provocateur Jordan Peterson on Jan. 25, Rogan suggested that trans acceptance was a sign of “civilizations collapsing.”

Rogan’s comments came while he and Peterson discussed what causes a person to be transgender, Media Matters reports.

Peterson, who is no stranger to anti-transgender sentiments, claimed that it was a “sociological contagion” akin to the “satanic ritual abuse accusations that emerged in daycares in the 1980s” — referencing the “satanic panic” of the ’80s and ’90s in which false allegations were made of occult child abuse in day care centers.

He added that he was opposed to Canada’s federal Bill C-16, which added gender identity to the country’s human rights protections.

“I knew full well as a clinician that as soon as we messed with fundamental sex categories and changed the terminology, we would fatally confuse thousand of young girls,” Peterson said. “I knew that because I knew the literature on sociological contagion.”

Rogan responded by pointing to anti-transgender author Abigail Shrier, who previously appeared on his podcast in July 2020.

He referenced Shrier’s claims of so-called “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” a false concept derived from a study — since corrected — by Brown University’s Dr. Lisa Littman, who claimed that trans youth were rapidly identifying as transgender due to “social and peer contagion.”

The study, Media Matters noted, has been described as “below scientific standards” and its results were derived from survey responses by parents who had visited anti-transgender websites.

Rogan went on to suggest that transgender people who didn’t transition “eventually wound up becoming gay men,” without citing his source.

Later in the episode, Rogan claimed that accepting transgender people was a sign of “civilizations collapsing.”

Again he was referencing a prior episode of his podcast, in which he spoke with right-wing author and commentator Douglas Murray. Murray had claimed that transgender rights “will be seen to be a late-empire, a bad sign of things falling apart.”

Rogan has repeated Murray’s claim in multiple episodes of his podcast since speaking to him in Sept. 2020.

During his discussion with Peterson, Rogan again referenced Murray’s anti-trans comments, calling him “brilliant.”

“He had an amazing point about civilizations collapsing, and that when they start collapsing they become obsessed with gender,” Rogan said. “And he was saying that you could trace it back to the ancient Romans, the Greeks.”

Rogan reaches an estimated 11 million people per episode with his podcast, which is by far the most popular on Spotify.

The streaming service has been urged to tackle misinformation on its platform, including in Rogan’s podcast, but has thus far resisted calls to censor or remove episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience that contain misinformation.

Instead, Spotify said it would add disclaimers to any content discussing the pandemic, vaccines, or other COVID-19 topics.

This week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki welcomed the changes, but urged Spotify to do “more” to tackle COVID-19 misinformation.

Psaki said Spotify had a responsibility to “ensure the American people have accurate information about something as significant as Covid-19.”

“Ultimately our view is that it’s a good step, it’s a positive step, but there’s more that can be done,” she said.

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