The president of the Human Rights Campaign criticized Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBernie Sanders' ex-spokesperson apprehensive over effectiveness of SALT deductions BBB threatens the role of parents in raising — and educating — children Biden expected to nominate Shalanda Young for budget chief MORE (I-Vt.) for embracing an endorsement by popular podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan.
Alphonso David said Friday that while Sanders has been “unabashedly supportive” of LGBTQ rights, he found it “disappointing” that the campaign chose to accept Rogan’s backing, pointing to the comedian’s past comments on the transgender community and people of color.
“Bernie Sanders has run a campaign unabashedly supportive of the rights of LGBTQ people. Rogan, however, has attacked transgender people, gay men, women, people of color and countless marginalized groups at every opportunity,” he wrote in a statement.
“Given Rogan’s comments, it is disappointing that the Sanders campaign has accepted and promoted the endorsement,” David added. “The Sanders campaign must reconsider this endorsement and the decision to publicize the views of someone who has consistently attacked and dehumanized marginalized people.”
David’s comments come after Sanders on Thursday promoted a viral clip of Rogan endorsing him.
“I think I'll probably vote for Bernie... He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is a very powerful structure to operate from.” -Joe Rogan pic.twitter.com/fuQP0KwGGI— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 23, 2020
In the clip, Rogan said that he would most likely vote for Sanders in the upcoming Democratic presidential primary, arguing that the White House hopeful has been “insanely consistent his entire life.”
“He’s basically been saying the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is very a powerful structure to operate from,” Rogan said on “The Joe Rogan Experience” while speaking with New York Times columnist Bari Weiss.
Sanders's decision to promote Rogan’s endorsement drew some criticism on Twitter, with several users pointing to Rogan’s attacks on the transgender community and other groups. Other users criticized the comedian for interviewing and giving a platform to far-right commentators like Milo Yiannopoulous and Alex Jones.
After news of the endorsement starting trending on Twitter, a separate clip of Rogan began to circulate in which he talked about his experience going to see the movie “Planet of the Apes” in a black neighborhood.
“We get out, we’re giggling, ‘We’re going to go see 'Planet of the Apes.’ We walk in to 'Planet of the Apes.' We walked into Africa,” Rogan said in a 2013 podcast, before clarifying that there were “no white people in the theater.”
“'Planet of the Apes' didn’t take place in Africa, that was a racist thing for me to say,” he added.
Sanders spokeswoman Briahna Joy Gray responded to the backlash by saying that it will take "a big tent" to beat President TrumpDonald TrumpFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Giving thanks for Thanksgiving itself Immigration provision in Democrats' reconciliation bill makes no sense MORE in November's election.
"The goal of our campaign is to build a multi-racial, multi-generational movement that is large enough to defeat Donald Trump and the powerful special interests whose greed and corruption is the root cause of the outrageous inequality in America,” she tweeted.