Joe Rogan Just Said His Worst Thing Yet

Joe Rogan is no stranger to controversy, and true to form, he just let loose with perhaps the worst one yet.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

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Joe Rogan is something of a magnet for controversy, given his enormous fan base and his penchant for saying horrible and/or medically dangerous things and then backtracking on them. However, the podcast host seems to have topped himself in terms of finding the most incredibly horrible thing to say. On a recent episode of his show The Joe Rogan Experience, the UFC commentator discussed the rising issue of homelessness in Los Angeles with standup comedian Tom Segura. Over the course of their conversation, Joe Rogan offhandedly suggested shooting homeless people. The two continued their conversation, as though one of the most famous podcasters in the world had not just said that an option for the nationally discussed homeless crisis in L.A. was to murder human beings. 

While Joe Rogan can loosely be referred to as a comic, The Joe Rogan Experience is not actually a comedy podcast. In fact, Joe Rogan takes pride in his self-promoted position as an advocate for “free speech” and serious discussion, often inviting notable and controversial figures like Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, neo-fascist group the Proud Boys founder ​​Gavin McInnes, and COVID-19 conspiracy theorist Dr. Peter McCullough on his show. All this is to say, while Joe Rogan and his fans will likely assert that he was joking in his statement that human beings who do not have a permanent residence should maybe be shot, this is not in fact a comedy show in which one can assume that what is being said is automatically being used for comedic effect. Here is the actual exchange between Joe Rogan and Tom Segura:

Tom Segura: When you see stuff like that on the streets, at least in Los Angeles or California, that’s protected property. Like by law. That’s that’s person’s property by law.

Joe Rogan: Oh, a homeless person’s property is protected?

Segura: Absolutely. If you were to try to move that or take that—

Rogan: You’d get arrested. Hilarious. But they wouldn’t arrest you if you shot somebody. Maybe you should just go shoot the homeless people.

Segura: I like your ideas.

Rogan: And if nobody claims it. I mean nobody does anything about violent crime in LA anymore.

As one might expect, Joe Rogan’s flippant suggestion that murder is an option is already being criticized by homelessness advocates and the public at large. While Joe Rogan is a private citizen and not actually in charge of any public policy, he has an outsize influence on public sentiment, given his massive audience. During the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, he advocated for the use of the antiparasitic drug ​​ivermectin as a treatment for the virus, despite the wide medical consensus that it was ineffectual. After widespread criticism, Joe Rogan publicly admitted he was not a doctor or, in his words, ​​”a respected source of information.”

Part of the reason multi-millionaire celebrity Joe Rogan’s casual words regarding shooting human beings whose economic situation does not allow them to have the security of stable living conditions is being so widely criticized is that in fact, there is an increasing number of murders of homeless people in Los Angeles. Per the Los Angeles Police Department data, more homeless people were murdered in L.A. than in any other recorded year; there was a 47% increase in murders of homeless people than 2021 and a terrifying 102% increase from 2020. So, not really a subject that should be casually bandied by the former host of NBC’s Fear Factor. While this is not the first time that Joe Rogan has used his platform to “jokingly” say abhorrent things, this one really raises the horribleness bar quite a bit.