Fans divided after Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson shares support for Joe Rogan

Click to play video: 'Joe Rogan apologizes after video surfaces showing him using racist language on past podcast episodes'
Joe Rogan apologizes after video surfaces showing him using racist language on past podcast episodes
WATCH: Joe Rogan apologizes after video surfaces showing him using racist language on past podcast episodes – Feb 5, 2022

The ongoing Joe Rogan/Spotify controversy has taken yet another turn — this time in the form of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson siding with the podcast host.

Fans of the former wrestler were divided after Johnson shared some words of encouragement on a video that Rogan had posted in response to the fallout.

Click to play video: 'Joe Rogan addresses Spotify controversy'
Joe Rogan addresses Spotify controversy

In the video, Rogan said he would “maybe try harder to get people with differing opinions,” after several musicians, including Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, pulled their music from the streaming service, citing what Young called Rogan’s vaccine “disinformation.”

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In response to the video, Johnson wrote: “Great stuff here, brother. Perfectly articulated.”

He added that he looks forward to “coming on one day and breaking out the tequila with you.”

Fans of Dwayne Johnson are divided over his support for Joe Rogan. Screengrab / Instagram

“So disappointed in you, but at least we see your true colours now,” one fan wrote under Johnson’s comment.

“Wow disappointing. Maybe you should go and talk to some of the frontline health workers instead of listening to this nonsense,” shared another.

Others praised Johnson.

“Please make this podcast happen!!” wrote one fan under Johnson’s comment.

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Another said: “Good to see the rock (sic) support another good human being in this fight for freedom and information.”

Rogan has not been shy about sharing his opinions on COVID-19, touting ivermectin and exploring anti-vaccine theories on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.

The 54-year-old contracted COVID-19 in September 2021, and had to cancel his April show in Vancouver because he’s not vaccinated and can’t get past the province’s proof-of-vaccination laws for indoor events.

Young penned an open letter last week, requesting that his music be removed from Spotify for as long as The Joe Rogan Experience is on the streaming service.

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Click to play video: 'Spotify grapples with artist backlash over COVID-19 misinformation on platform'
Spotify grapples with artist backlash over COVID-19 misinformation on platform

Young, 76, posted the letter (since deleted) to his personal site, saying that he doesn’t want to feature his music on the platform alongside Rogan’s podcast, which, according to the musician, spreads “disinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.”

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” he wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

Last weekend, Mitchell announced she will remove all of her music from Spotify in solidarity with Young, and Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, who have signed a multi-year deal to produce and host podcasts for Spotify under their production company Archewell Audio, also urged Spotify to tame virus misinformation.

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Earlier, hundreds of scientists, professors and public health experts asked Spotify to remove a Dec. 31, 2021 episode in which Rogan featured Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious-disease specialist who has been banned from Twitter for spreading COVID-19 misinformation.

In a post Sunday, Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek laid out more transparent platform rules given the backlash stirred by Young.

“Personally, there are plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly,” wrote Ek. “It is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them.”

Ek said the advisories will link to Spotify’s fact-based COVID-19 hub in what he described as a “new effort to combat misinformation.” It will roll out in the coming days, Ek said. He did not specifically reference Rogan or Young.

In his video, Rogan said he welcomes the idea of content advisories before podcasts that discuss COVID-19.

“Sure, have that on there. I’m very happy with that,” he said.

— With files from Global News’ Chris Jancelewicz and The Canadian Press

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