Politics

Andrew Yang briefly defends Joe Rogan, later deletes tweet after backlash

On Sunday, Andrew Yang, a former presidential candidate, stood up for podcaster Joe Rogan as he received heavy criticism over his past use of racial slurs on several episodes of his show “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

Yang defended Rogan over the widespread criticism he has been receiving for his podcast episodes featuring controversial coronavirus vaccine commentary as well as for using racial slurs in old clips that have recently become widespread.

“I don’t think Joe Rogan is a racist – the man interacts with and works [with] black people literally all of the time,” Yang posted on Twitter before deleting the comment. “Do I know black friends of Joe’s who would swear by him? Yes I do.” 

Yang appeared in an episode of Rogan’s podcast in 2019 during his campaign for president. After he removed his original tweet on behalf of the Spotify host, Yang reworded his support in several follow-up posts.

“I like to believe the best of people – especially if I’ve met and spent time with that person,” Yang wrote early on Sunday. “Sometimes it makes me miss something. I think we should have the capacity to forgive people – whether a podcaster or a mayor – if they mess up. Maybe it’s because I mess up too.” 

Yang further acknowledged that racism is a “real, deep, corrosive and even lethal” issue, adding that he deleted his previous tweet because it minimized that reality.

“I deleted the tweet because it was wrong-headed,” he continued. “I also hurt people, which is never my intent. I’m sorry. I’m learning and appreciate those who reached out to express their feelings.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS

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