No stranger to controversy, self-professed stand-up comic/mixed martial arts fanatic/psychedelic adventurer Joe Rogan offered the following generalization about Jews on his wildly popular Spotify show: “The idea that Jews aren’t into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians don’t like pizza.”
Rogan was speaking with MSNBC contributor Crystal Ball about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s 2019 tweet that Israel’s defenders in the United States were motivated only by money.
“It’s all about Benjamin’s baby,” Omar wrote at the time. The tweet drew swift rebukes from leaders on both sides of the aisle, including then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Omar later retracted, writing, “I apologize unequivocally.”
The Spotify host’s statements were part of a conversation about Rep. Adam Schiff
“It’s crazy,” Rogan said. “Did you see him sitting next to Ilhan Omar, where he apologized for talking about the Benjamins? Which is just a matter of money. He is talking about money. This is not an anti-Semitic comment, I don’t think so. Benjamin’s money.”
He continued, “The idea that Jews are not in money is ludicrous. That’s like saying Italians don’t like pizza. It’s stupid.”
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called the comedian’s comments “no joke” and said he found it “disturbing that at a time of rising anti-Semitic violence, when a growing number of Americans believe in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, @joerogan would use his massive platform to target Jews.” and Semitic tropes about money.”
Elaborating further, Greenblatt reminded that, “For centuries, people have used these long-standing tropes to spread vile lies about Jews. ‘Comedian’ or not, Rogan’s comments are no joke.
British comedian and novelist David Baddiel observed that “when a racist myth is told about Jews… on one of the biggest podcasts in the world and nobody gives a f*k.” You can watch the clip with Rogan’s quote in Baddiel’s tweet below.
Rogan has faced other recent controversies over vaccine misinformation raised by some of his guests and his own repeated use of the N-word over the years.
Deadline reached Spotify and will add comments when received.