Joe Rogan Still Hasn’t Addressed His Friend's Sexual Misconduct Allegations

While many comedians have condemned Chris D'Elia's allegedly predatory behavior, the most high-profile podcaster in the world has remained silent.
Ashwin Rodrigues
Brooklyn, US
Joe Rogan Experience Podcast
Screenshot via YouTube

Update: This story has been updated to include a response from Chris D'Elia and his representatives.

On June 20, the LA Times reported that comedian Chris D'Elia allegedly sent sexually inappropriate messages and emails to teenagers, following a viral Twitter thread from SheRatesDogs compiling alleged conversations that D'Elia had with girls when they were underage. The thread started after a woman noted the irony of D'Elia playing a pedophile in the TV show You, because he'd messaged her when she was still in high school. In response, D'Elia's team disclosed emails to Page Six meant to "paint a fuller picture" of three of these incidents. In a comment to TMZ, D'Elia claimed he's "never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point."

Chris D'Elia was a regular at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles and regularly featured on the podcasts of other comedians who work out of the store, many of whom have made public statements about their colleague and friend. Callen and Brendan Schaub were two of the first to comment on D'Elia's accusations on their podcast The Fighter and The Kid on June 17. A tearful Schaub was unable to speak, and Callen said he "always knew Chris as a lady's man" but he'd never "heard or seen him do anything illegal," and explained how difficult it was to hear the news about their friend. Whitney Cummings issued a statement about Delia displaying "a pattern of predatory behavior" based on "the information I have learned about Chris." Theo Von said he hoped Chris would "get the help he needs." Andrew Santino called it "awful and shocking," and Bobby Lee said, "I feel like I lost a friend." But of all the comedy podcasts making statements about D'Elia, one large exception is the Joe Rogan Experience, one of the most popular podcasts in the world.

D'Elia had been a guest on the podcast as recently as April, and Rogan has released several podcasts since the story broke. Rogan often uses his podcast to opine on current events, such as police brutality, Black Lives Matter protests, and the efficacy of wearing masks during the ongoing pandemic. However, as of June 29, Rogan has still not mentioned D'Elia at all, despite a mounting number of statements from comics close with D'Elia. For listeners of JRE, the lack of response is jarring and notable, as you can usually find Rogan's take on anything in the news. It's likely a combination of Rogan releasing episodes recorded prior to the story breaking, and waiting for more information, but it reads as a glaring omission given Rogan's proximity to D'Elia as a friend, fellow Comedy Store regular, and repeat podcast guest. VICE reached out to Rogan for comment and will update if he responds.

D'Elia has portrayed a pedophile on two separate TV shows in the past, first in Workaholics and then in You. In response to the allegations against D'Elia, Comedy Central has removed his episode of Workaholics from their platform, as well as one of his comedy specials. The full Joe Rogan Experience catalog will move to Spotify in September, in a licensing deal worth over $100 million. Spotify did not respond to a comment whether D'Elia's appearances on Rogan would be featured on the platform.