What does podcast sensation and certified buff man Joe Rogan have in common with Glenn Beck and Matthew McConaughey? They are now all residents of the great (yeah, why not?) state of Texas.
Back in July, Rogan announced his decision to move his massively popular show, The Joe Rogan Experience, to Texas for “more freedom.” It makes sense. Lower taxes, a more welcoming community and tacos make Texas an appealing state to set shop in.
But this ever-growing state is becoming a lot more diverse demographically, and if Rogan really wants to roll with us, he should take a few notes on how to make his brand a lot more appealing to every Texan.
More drag queens, less Miley Cyrus
Earlier, this week, megastar and RuPaul’s Drag Race megafan Miley Cyrus joined Rogan’s show, where the singer spent a solid 14 minutes explaining the famed LGBTQ reality show. Within those 14 minutes, the names Alyssa Edwards and Kennedy Davenport popped up, two drag queens who are from the same state Rogan now resides in.
The clip of Miss Cyrus trying to explain to a visibly confused Rogan what a death drop is [a dance move] and why they’re so sickening was awkward yet hilarious. Now, imagine a 6-foot queen in heels, makeup and a wig entering Rogan’s Austin studio and giving an impromptu makeup tutorial while simultaneously reading Rogan for filth, henny.
Obnoxious catchphrases aside, Rogan would be better off hosting a few drag entertainers who are as diverse, hilarious, and talented as only LGBTQ Texans can be. In Rogan’s thousands of shows, the best we could do for drag representation was Hannah Montana, and we're sure even Miley would agree that’s not enough.
Have an open ear
If Rogan thinks that residing in the city of Gov. Greg Abbott means he doesn’t have to revisit his past comments on social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement, then he doesn’t really know the scope of changing Texas politics.
In the past, Rogan has hosted politicians from Bernie Sanders to Tulsi Gabbard. He’s no stranger to endorsing progressive policies and seems to be open to at least giving these advocates a platform on his show.
Texas has a fair share of progressives as well. Sheila Jackson Lee, Wendy Davis and Joaquin and Julián Castro are not just politicians but Texas politicians of marginalized backgrounds.
Rogan found himself in hot water recently after a discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement questioning whether young protesters even know what they are advocating for.
The problem with Rogan’s analysis is that it’s not only wrong, but he also found himself having this debate with Bret Weinstein, a former Evergreen State College professor who is known for flaming tensions when it comes to advocacy and race. Rogan would benefit from bringing on a congresswoman like Sheila Jackson Lee and having an honest discussion about what it means to a marginalized person in the state of Texas.
Embrace the state’s growing spectrum of music
Though Rogan has hosted many well-known artists over the years, not even Texas country legend Willie Nelson has found his way into the studio with the famed podcast host.
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Nelson, though, is just one example of Texas’ beautifully diverse palette of art and music. Southlake native Post Malone has appeared on the Experience, but if Rogan brought on a Leon Bridges or queen Erykah Badu, he and his audience would learn that soul and rhythm and blues are just a few of many genres of music that come not just from Texas, but North Texas.
Texas has a rich history of Tejano, hip-hop, country and more from artists who are not given their proper moment in the spotlight. Rogan has the listeners and platform to give back to the state that he wants “more freedom” from.
There’s also Beyoncé, but let me calm down. Beyoncé does not have time for ANYONE, much less Joe Rogan.
Rogan has obviously built a massive empire of listeners, and no matter what changes come once he settles into his Texas studio, he will likely remain successful. But if he wants to be a true Texan and not just throw on some cowboy boots, eat some BBQ, and call it a day, he should expand his palette and know that all Texans have a different experience.