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Dana White has hit out at attempts to censor Joe Rogan, claiming the podcast host can't be cancelled.
The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) has become one of the biggest podcasts in the world, and while it has made the host a s**t tonne of money, it has also landed him in hot water on numerous occasions.
Just recently, 270 US doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals wrote an open letter to the podcast's streaming platform Spotify, labelling Rogan a 'menace to public health'.
The letter said he had a 'concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the Covid-19 pandemic' and called for 'a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform'; but UFC boss White has dismissed the criticism, suggesting that attempts to censor Rogan are in vain.
Asked recently about the controversy on the Full Send Podcast, the 52-year-old said: "You’re not cancelling Rogan. The thing is with Rogan, he's a brilliant guy, he does his homework, and he knows what he's talking about
"And guess what? This is f*****g America, and you can have your own opinion about these things, and you can voice them.
"That's what this f*****g country was built on. And all these little whiny f*****g p*****s that don't like it, too f*****g bad."
While freedom of speech is undoubtedly integral to the functioning of our society, social media platforms have taken steps to moderate discriminatory speech and misinformation.
A section of the open letter to Spotify read: "Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine.
"He has discouraged vaccination in young people and children, incorrectly claimed that mRNA vaccines are 'gene therapy', promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19 (contrary to FDA warnings), and spread a number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.
"In episode #1757, Rogan hosted Dr. Robert Malone, who was suspended from Twitter for spreading misinformation about Covid-19. Dr. Malone used the JRE platform to further promote numerous baseless claims, including several falsehoods about Covid-19 vaccines and an unfounded theory that societal leaders have 'hypnotized' the public.
"Many of these statements have already been discredited. Notably, Dr. Malone is one of two recent JRE guests who has compared pandemic policies to the Holocaust. These actions are not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous."
Musician Neil Young has thrown his weight behind the cause, writing in a letter: "They [Spotify] can have Rogan or Young. Not both."
Spotify, which paid $100m (£74m) for the rights to the podcast in 2020, is yet to comment.
Words by Jake Massey.
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