Several cast members of The Challenge came under fire in the last several months for racially insensitive behavior. The Black Lives Matter protests encouraged a deep-dive into reality stars’ past social media posts, where challengers like Georgia Harrison, Mattie Lynn Breaux, and Rogan O’Connor were outed for either saying the N-word or using blackface many years ago. The latter is the most recent to apologize, as he recently discussed his past actions on the Challenge Mania podcast.
After Dee Nguyen was fired two months ago for insensitive comments, some viewers began pointing the finger at stars like Rogan who had yet to apologize for his past behavior and calling for his termination from the network. Rogan tweeted in 2012 about his surprise for the number of times Drake used the N-word in his songs and admitted to saying it out loud as he sang along in the gym. While chatting with Derrick Kosinski and Scott Yager on the podcast (available on Apple), he set the record straight about his former comments.
“Ten years ago, [I was] quoting my favorite rapper Drake’s song, wrongfully using the N-word. At the same time, [I was] addressing how I shouldn’t have said it, saying that I accidentally said it aloud when I was singing along to my favorite rapper,” Rogan said.
In the now-deleted tweet, Rogan used the hashtag “#accidentalracist,” suggesting he knew the term was wrong, but he was caught up in the music.
“So, I didn’t necessarily think it was racist but if it does offend anyone whatsoever. … I would never tweet something like that now. It was nearly 10 years ago. I am far from racist in any way whatsoever, so it really hurt me that people would tweet that.”
The Brit later apologized flat out, while also recalling a quote he posted from Pulp Fiction which also used the slur.
“If I offended anyone, I massively apologize for that,” he continued.
To put his money where his mouth is, Rogan then told the listeners that he would be donating proceeds from his clothing line, Bear Wear, to Black Curriculum, a charity which promotes teaching African American history in schools. The proceeds will come from a particular hoodie from the line, and will also go to a second organization that he didn’t name.
Rogan noted he wanted to bring more awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement and said people with a platform like him should be doing just that.
MTV has not made any comment about Rogan’s future on their popular franchise and the cast list for Season 36 has not yet been set.