Joe Rogan criticized for an antisemitic trope he used in defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar

A bald man in a red shirt and tattooed arms talks into a microphone while holding a piece of white paper.
Joe Rogan is being accused of furthering antisemitic tropes on his podcast.
(Stacy Revere / Getty Images)

Another week, another Joe Rogan controversy.

Rogan is facing backlash this week for promoting an antisemitic trope about Jewish people liking money in a recent episode of his popular Spotify podcast while defending U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

In the Feb. 4 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which is often the most-listened to podcast on Spotify, Rogan said Omar should not have had to apologize for a tweet she wrote in 2019 that was also criticized for being antisemitic, including by other lawmakers.


Joe Rogan apologized Thursday for discussing a tweet about COVID-19 vaccines that was determined later to be doctored on his Spotify podcast.

Jan. 6, 2023

The Democratic congresswoman had tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” with a musical note emoji, after she expressed support for movements to boycott and sanction Israel over its treatment of Palestinians as well as the influence of pro-Israeli groups in D.C. politics.

She later vehemently apologized for her tweet and clarified that she was referring to the influence of the pro-Israeli nonprofit American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C. Yet last week, Republican lawmakers used her 2019 comments as ammo to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a prominent post in Congress.

Spotify paid millions to lure Joe Rogan but now faces pressure from more than 200 doctors to hold him to account for spreading misinformation about COVID vaccines on his podcast.

Jan. 26, 2022

“That’s not an antisemitic statement,” Rogan said on his podcast, which featured guest Krystal Ball, a former MSNBC host. “Benjamins are money. The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza.”

In the days since, critics, political commentators and many Jewish figures have publicly decried Rogan’s remarks.

“Disturbing that at a time of rising anti-Jewish violence, when growing numbers of Americans believe in antisemitic conspiracy theories, @joerogan would use his immense platform to spew antisemitic tropes about Jews and money,” tweeted Anti-Defamation League Chief Executive Jonathan Greenblatt on Tuesday.

Expressions of antisemitism have grown louder in recent years. Researchers say that rising U.S. antisemitism is increasingly translating into workplace discrimination.

Jan. 11, 2023

An ADL analysis found that antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in the U.S. in 2021; it started keeping track in 1979. According to the group, 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism were reported to the ADL. A separate study found such antisemitic trends also reflected in the workplace.


In recent months, Los Angeles has also seen a spike in antisemitic incidents amid hateful tirades from rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, toward Jewish people.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) also weighed in on Rogan’s comments, tweeting Tuesday, “Newsflash: The notion that interest in money is uniquely Jewish is Antisemitic garbage that should never be fed to an audience of millions.”

Kanye West was dropped by Adidas and his talent agency, after ‘brazen’ and ‘unapologetic’ antisemitic rhetoric.

Oct. 25, 2022

Hip-hop radio host Peter Rosenberg also criticized Rogan for being “dense or intentionally obtuse” about the subject. He said he’s all for people talking critically about Israeli politics, but not anti-Jewish tropes.

“Did millions of Italians ever die because people viewed them as liking pizza too much?” Rosenberg asked in a video posted to his Instagram account Wednesday. “The ‘Jews love money’ thing is tied into every bit of hate that exists about Jews.”

Rogan has previously come under fire for controversial comments. Despite pressure on Spotify to crack down on its star podcaster, he has remained on the platform.

Joe Rogan apologized on Instagram for saying the N-word in the past as Spotify removes early episodes of his show.

Feb. 5, 2022

In 2021, Rogan often questioned medical science and practices around COVID-19 and regularly featured guests who were known to share misinformation about the disease and treatments.


Musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell famously pulled their music off Spotify in protest early last year. Their discographies remain absent on the platform. Crosby, Stills & Nash also joined the boycott, but eventually returned later that year.

Also in 2022, singer India.Arie, who is Black, posted a video montage online of Rogan, who is white, saying the N-word about 20 times on his show across the years. Spotify quietly removed about 70 old episodes from its platform. Rogan later apologized for his comments.