Joe Rogan has been criticised over his comments about homelessness in Los Angeles during a recent episode of his controversial podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.
Speaking to guest and fellow comedian Tom Segura during the episode, which aired last Thursday (14 July), Rogan appeared to joke about “shooting the homeless people” in Los Angeles in relation to the Californian city’s burgeoning homelessness crisis.
It is estimated that Los Angeles has more than 66,000 unhoused persons as of May 2022. In her resignation from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (Lahsa), former executive director Heidi Marsten said the crisis was a “monster of our own making”.
While smoking cigars, Rogan and Segura touched upon the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles in an interaction that has been labelled “sickening” and “disgusting” by fans online.
In the clip of their exchange, which is going viral on Twitter, Rogan began by talking about how homeless people’s possessions were strewn about Los Angeles.
Segura responded: “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.”
“Oh, a homeless person’s property is protected?” Rogan fired back, before Segura replied: “Absolutely. If you were to try to move that or take that_”
“You’d get arrested. Hilarious,” Rogan said, completing Segura’s sentence, before adding, “But they wouldn’t arrest you if you shot somebody. Maybe you should just go shoot the homeless people.”
“I like your ideas,” Segura reacted to Rogan’s remark.
Twitter users have decried Rogan’s statements which, many believe, could spur crimes against the homeless.
One person wrote: “Joe Rogan‘s one trick to resolve the homeless problem: Shoot them. Way to endorse crimes against humanity.”
Another said: “After hearing Joe Rogan and Tom Segura joking about shooting homeless people, I hope with every fiber in my being that those words come back to bite them in the worst way.”
One social media user prefaced his comments by saying they “don’t have a high opinion of Joe Rogan, I admit that” but his comments about the homeless were “disgusting.”
“‘You won’t get arrested if you shoot someone! So go shoot thehomeless people’,” they paraphrased Rogan’s comments, adding, “He is advocating for the murder of people who have nothing and are at their lowest point,” the fan tweet continued.
Los Angeles’ unhoused advocates have also condemned Rogan’s statements.
In a statement to Variety, unhoused advocate and We The Unhoused podcast creator Theo Henderson called Rogan’s comments “repulsive”.
He added: “It’s infuriating because it’s not only out of touch, but the reality is that unhoused people are targeted by housed people. To advocate trying to shoot at unhoused people or just giving these dog whistles to people that do not see unhoused people as human beings — I can’t believe you’d advocate for it.”
The Independent has reached out to a representative of Rogan for comment.