- Comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan is being accused of spreading misinformation after suggesting during an April 23 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” that young people should not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- “For the most part, I think it’s safe to get vaccinated,” he said. “But if you’re, like, 21-years-old and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I would go ‘no.’”
- He added that healthy young people who eat well and exercise don’t “need to worry about this.”
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Rogan’s remarks were “incorrect” and added, “you can get infected and will get infected if you put yourself at risk. And even if you don’t have any symptoms, you’re propagating the outbreak.”
Rogan Tells Young People To Not Get Vaccinated
Comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan is facing backlash after suggesting that young people should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
He made the controversial remarks during an April 23 episode of his show, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” A clip of it went viral on Twitter after Media Matters reported on it Tuesday. Rogan has been a trending subject on Twitter since then.
“Yeah, for the most part, I think it’s safe to get vaccinated. I do, I do,” he said while speaking to his guest, comedian Dave Smith. “But if you’re, like, 21-years-old and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I would go ‘no.’
“Are you healthy? Are you a healthy person?” he continued. “Like look, don’t do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. If you’re a healthy person all the time and you’re exercising all the time and you’re young, and you’re eating well, like I don’t think you need to worry about this.”
He later said he found it “crazy” that people want to vaccinate their children and said that when his kids contracted the virus, it was akin to a cold.
His remarks outraged many because while young people might be less likely to die of the virus than elderly populations, they can still get serious cases of COVID-19. Plenty of young and healthy people who have contracted the virus continue to deal with long-haul symptoms. According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, in the first five months of the pandemic, 4,535 Americans aged 25-44 died of COVID-19.
Rogan Faces Backlash For Spreading Misinformation
By Wednesday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, disputed Rogan’s claims on “The Today Show.”
“Well that’s incorrect and the reason why is you’re talking about yourself in a vacuum then,” Dr. Fauci explained. “You’re worried about yourself getting infected and the likelihood that you’re not gonna get any symptoms. But you can get infected and will get infected if you put yourself at risk.”
“You can get infected, and will get infected, if you put yourself at risk.” -Dr. Anthony Fauci responding to podcast host Joe Rogan’s suggestion that young people not get the COVID-19 vaccine pic.twitter.com/6E02GI31VV— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 28, 2021
“And even if you don’t have any symptoms,” he continued, “you’re propagating the outbreak because it is likely that you — even if you have no symptoms — that you may inadvertently and innocently then infect someone else who might infect someone who really could have a problem with a severe outcome.”
Dr. Fauci is not the only person to encourage young people to get vaccinated following Rogan’s comments. YouTuber and podcast host Ethan Klein said, “That’s how we stop the spread. Not rocket science guys.”
“The people who watch Joe Rogan’s show are the people we desperately need to vaccinate in order to speed up the end of the pandemic,” wrote Daily Beast editor Molly Jong-Fast. “Joe isn’t just endangering their lives he’s endangering the rest of us too.”
Spotify Credits Some Recent Success to Rogan
Rogan is one of the most popular podcasters in the world and has a far-reaching audience. His show is exclusively hosted by Spotify, and he regularly sits at the top of the platform’s podcast charts. Spotify even credits him with some of its recent successes.
On Wednesday, the company shared its quarterly earnings report. The streaming giant announced its monthly active users went up 24% year-over-year to 356 million, and that its subscribers went up 21% to 158 million.
The report cited the popularity of several pieces of content, first naming Rogan’s podcast.
“The Joe Rogan Experience performed above expectations with respect to new user additions and engagement,” it said.
Spotify has removed other instances of COVID-19 misinformation before. It has also removed a handful of episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Some have called on Spotify to remove the April 23 episode to limit the spread of Rogan’s message. A source told The Verge that Spotify did review the episode but chose to leave it up because Rogan did not come across as outwardly anti-vaccine and did not make a direct call to action.
Billie Eilish Advocates for Climate Action Ahead of U.N. COP26 Summit
The singer was joined by “The Office” actor Rainn Wilson and other big-name celebrities and activists in a pitch for world leaders to make substantial progress at the conference.
Billie Eilish Calls for Climate Action
Singer Billie Eilish partnered Tuesday with the environmental group Arctic Basecamp at the University of Exeter to call for meaningful climate action ahead of the U.N. COP26 climate conference.
“This year our leaders are deciding the global actions required on the environment climate emergency in a critical decade for our planet,” Eilish said in a video. “We must stand together and speak up to save our planet, not just for us, but for our future generations. And we need urgent, urgent action now.”
Eilish is no stranger to advocating for solutions to climate change. In September, the “Happier Than Ever” singer urged Congress to pass climate legislation as part of the #CodeRedClimate campaign. For her latest pitch with Arctic Basecamp, she was joined by other big names, including “The Office” actor Rainn Wilson, explorer Levison Wood, climate activist Daze Aghaji, and wildlife advocate Robert Irwin, who is the son of the late Steve Irwin.
“Courage. That’s what our world’s leaders need more than anything,” Wilson said in the video message. “The decisions that they make about the climate crisis in the next decade are the most important decisions in our planet’s history.”
What is COP26?
Arctic Basecamp works with scientists and other high-profile organizations all over the world to call attention to climate issues and encourage effective solutions. It was founded by Gail Whiteman, a professor at the University of Exeter, who released a statement thanking the slew of stars and activists for their involvement in the COP26 initiative.
“It is amazing to be working with such brave people that not only are using their voice but are using their voice for good,” she said. “This is a crisis and the Arctic is sounding the alarm. It is time that world leaders come together to create real change that ensures a safe future for humanity.”
COP26 will kick off in Glasgow on Oct. 31 and run through Nov. 12. Global leaders will discuss several actions regarding the environment, including pacts like the Paris Agreement and U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. They will also focus on a series of goals, including achieving global net-zero emissions by mid-century and protecting ecosystems, along with other infrastructure threatened by climate change.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pitched the event as a key moment for the world to come together and tackle climate change. This week, he described it as “our best chance to make the changes we need to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren.”
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Dave Chappelle Says He’s Willing To Meet With Trans Community Under Certain Conditions
After being criticized for transphobic comments, the comedian said he would give an audience to the transgender community even though he is “confused” about what they would be discussing.
Dave Chappelle Addresses Netflix Employees
Comedian Dave Chappelle responded on Monday to the recent backlash he has faced for making transphobic remarks in his new Netflix stand-up special “The Closer.”
Over the past several weeks, many employees at Netflix have protested against Chappelle’s program and numerous LGBTQ+ rights groups have condemned his comments. Netflix employees staged a walkout last week to call out “The Closer” and advocate for more trans and nonbinary employees to be included at the company.
Some reports have alleged that Chappelle denied the opportunity to speak with the trans community and allies at Netflix. In a new video addressing the controversy, Chappelle refuted that allegation.
“It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees of Netflix and I refused. That is not true,” he said “If they had invited me, I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about.“
“I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not?” he continued. “You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. It seems like I’m the only one who can’t go to the office.”
Chappelle Says He Will Meet With Trans Community
Chappelle added that he would be willing to meet with the trans community but is not “bending to anybody’s demands.”
“I have some conditions. First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end,” Chappelle explained. “You must come to a place of my choosing at a time of my choosing, and thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.”
Gadsby is a comedian best known for her Netflix special “Nanette.” While defending Chappelle, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos name-dropped Gadsby and “Nanette” as examples of the service’s offerings that give voice to marginalized communities. Gadsby shot back at the executive, saying she did not want him to “drag [her] name into [his] mess.”
“Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view,” Gadsby wrote on Instagram. “Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.”
During “The Closer,” Chappelle called himself “team TERF” while discussing author J.K. Rowling being “canceled” after making a series of transphobic comments herself. He said he agreed with Rowling and added that “gender is a fact.” He later made a slew of other comments, including a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
As outrage poured in, Sarandos released a series of statements in support of Chappelle and his artistic freedom. During his video, Chappelle thanked Sarandos, claiming that he has lost a series of opportunities amid the controversy. Chappelle recently completed a documentary that he says was going to screen at film festivals, but he is allegedly no longer welcome at those events.
“When this controversy came out about ‘The Closer,’ they began disinviting me from these film festivals, and now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film,” Chapelled claimed. “Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet.”
Chappelle later announced that he will be taking his documentary on tour to cities like San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, and Toronto.
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Affidavit Outlines Alleged Events That Lead Up to Fatal Shooting on “Rust” Set
Before the tragic incident that resulted in the death of the film’s cinematographer, actor Alec Baldwin was allegedly assured that the gun he was handed on set was not loaded.
Details of Events Leading Up to Shooting
An affidavit alleges that actor Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene that involved him pointing a gun at the camera when he misfired the weapon last week, killing the production’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and injuring director Joel Souza.
Multiple outlets obtained the affidavit from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday. The document details the alleged events that resulted in Thursday’s tragedy on the set of “Rust.” Souza told investigators that during a firearms safety announcement, he heard the prop weapon referred to as a “cold gun,” a term that means the gun is not loaded.
According to Souza, the guns on set were usually checked by two people: armorer Hannah Guttierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls. Halls was in charge of giving the guns to actors, though sources said both Guttierrez-Reed and Halls did so at various times.
The affidavit said that Halls handed the gun to Baldwin while announcing it as a “cold gun.” Investigators say investigators that Halls got the revolver from a tray set up by Gutierrez-Reed.
Souza said the crew had spent part of the day preparing for a scene in a church and later left to take a lunch break at another location. He said he was unsure if the firearm had been checked again after returning from lunch.
When the accident happened. Souza said he heard what “sounded like a whip and then loud pop.” He first noticed Hutchins grabbing her midsection and stumbling back before realizing he had been hit in the shoulder.
The incident came after six camera crew workers reportedly walked off the set in protest of unfair and unsafe working conditions. According to the affidavit, a replacement crew had quickly been hired, but production on the day of the accident was off to a late start because of related issues. Regarding general on-set behavior, Souza claimed that “everyone was getting along” and that there had been “no altercations” to his knowledge.
The affidavit’s walkout claim backed up previous reporting from The Los Angeles Times. Sources from the set of “Rust” told the outlet on Friday that half a dozen workers left the set because they were frustrated by safety issues, long hours, long commutes, and a long wait for their paychecks.
Safety Issues on Set of “Rust”
According to the report, standard industry safety protocols “were not strictly followed,” and at least one worker complained specifically about gun safety. Some sources told The Times that there had already been at least two accidental discharges of a prop gun. Around a week before the fatal accident, Baldwin’s stunt double allegedly fired two rounds after being told a gun was cold.
“There should have been an investigation into what happened,” one source told the outlet. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.”
Another source told The Times that “corners were being cut” on set.
The report also claimed that Hutchins was among those advocating for her team to have safer work conditions.
Rust Movie Productions released a statement saying safety “is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company.”
“Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down,” the statement continued.
Baldwin, for his part, sent his condolences to Hutchins’ family on Friday. At the time, he said he was cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Vigils have been held in New Mexico and Hollywood to honor Hutchins. The American Film Institute also made a memorial scholarship in her name.