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Blaze News originals: 7 times celebrities spoke against woke culture – and won
Mark Davis/WireImage

Blaze News original: 7 times celebrities spoke against woke culture — and won

Celebrities typically are afraid to speak out against progressive ideologies since they subscribe to the ideals of the woke Hollywood echo chamber or because they fear repercussions for going against the liberal herd. However, there are a handful of times when entertainers not only spoke against woke culture, but they also won because of it.

Joe Rogan

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Joe Rogan has declared himself to be a "bleeding heart liberal" on several topics. However, the prolific podcaster has also condemned progressivism for going too far to the left on a myriad of significant issues.

Rogan was one of the first major voices to question the pandemic narrative. Rogan used his massive platform to question why government health officials were not advising people to get more exercise and increased exposure to the sun for a natural source of vitamin D to help protect them against COVID-19.

His opinions expressed on "The Joe Rogan Experience" opened the door to widespread condemnation by the media and fellow celebrities. Musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell yanked their music off Spotify for allowing "irresponsible people" who were “spreading lies that are costing people their lives" regarding COVID-19 vaccines. However, both musicians walked back their positions and returned their music catalogs to Spotify.

Rogan even considered suing CNN for its hit piece on him.

Rogan has been an outspoken critic of biological males competing in female sports under the guise of transgender rights. The comedian has also lambasted the idea that children should have irreversible transgender treatments and surgeries to enable them to transition.

The controversies have not put a dent in Rogan's popularity.

Last month, it was revealed that "The Joe Rogan Experience" has 14.5 million followers – nearly three times more than the next most popular program on Spotify.

In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Rogan had signed a multiyear deal with Spotify worth an estimated $250 million. By re-signing with the streaming behemoth, Rogan reportedly received an upfront minimum guarantee and revenue-sharing based on sales of advertisements. The contract is a three-year deal, according to the New York Daily News.

Rogan was so fed up with progressive policies that he moved his family from the liberal enclave of California to Austin, Texas.

Mark Wahlberg

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Mark Wahlberg is another celebrity who moved out of California.

"The Departed" actor moved his family from southern California to Nevada "to give my kids a better life."

"We came here to just kind of give ourselves a new look, a fresh start for the kids, and there’s lot of opportunity here, so I’m really excited about the future," Wahlberg said in 2022.

In 2016, Wahlberg admitted that "a lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble."

"They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family," he added.

While many Hollywood actors are nonreligious, Wahlberg openly flaunts his devotion to his Christian faith.

Wahlberg previously said religion is "not popular in Hollywood."

"It's a balance — I don't want to jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith. That's an even bigger sin," Wahlberg explained. "You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but, you know, I cannot deny my faith. It's important for me to share that with people. I have friends from all walks of life and all different types of faiths and religions, so you know, it's important to respect and honor them as well."

In 2022, the Academy Award-nominated actor starred in the movie "Father Stu" – a film based on the true story of a boxer-turned-priest and his journey from self-destruction to redemption.

Earlier this year, he partnered with a Catholic prayer and meditation app, which shot up to the top of the Apple App Store after being promoted by Wahlberg in a Super Bowl commercial.

Wahlberg is one of the top Hollywood actors and also boasts several successful businesses. Wahlberg's net worth is said to be $400 million.

Gina Carano

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Actress Gina Carano fought back against the cancel culture horde after she was fired by Disney over social media posts.

In February 2021, Carano was terminated by Disney for posting a meme on social media that likened the treatment of American conservatives to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. Carano had been a star on Disney's immensely popular "Star Wars" TV spin-off "The Mandalorian."

The Walt Disney Company declared her social media posts as "denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities," which it called "abhorrent and unacceptable."

Last February, the former mixed martial arts athlete teamed up with Elon Musk to launch a lawsuit against Disney and Lucasfilm.

The wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuit alleges that Carano was a victim of an "online bully mob who demanded her compliance with their extreme progressive ideology."

Carano told BlazeTV's Glenn Beck about Musk's lawyers contacting her to sue Disney.

“I was just so excited, and I emailed him back immediately,” Carano told Beck, adding that “they were kind of dumbfounded about how this happened.”

The former MMA fighter also said, "I think it’s pretty incredible what he is doing. A lot of billionaires put their money into buying islands and building bunkers. Elon Musk is using his money to fight massive injustice battles."

Disney's attorneys argue, "The First Amendment protects Disney’s decision to dissociate itself from some speech but not from other, different speech. The First Amendment mandates deference to the speaker’s own decisions about what speech to associate with, even if others might consider those decisions ‘internally inconsistent’ ... Carano thus cannot stake out a discrimination claim by alleging that Disney accorded different treatment to different statements by different actors."

Carano contended, "Disney has confirmed what has been known all along, they will fire you if you say anything they disagree with, even if they have to MISREPRESENT, MALIGN, and MISCHARACTERIZE you to do it. They are now on record letting everyone who works for them know that Disney will take any chance they get to control what you say, what you think or they will attempt to destroy your career. Glad we cleared that up. The First Amendment does not allow Disney to wantonly DISCRIMINATE, which is what they have done in my case and frankly have now admitted they did. If you ever wanted to know what today’s 'Disney values' are, they just told you."

Dave Chappelle

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Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked for telling transgender jokes. However, the stand-up comedian refused to bow to the woke mob and ended up winning.

In October 2021, Chappelle faced controversy for transgender jokes in his "The Closer" comedy special. Critics declared Chappelle to be "homophobic" and "transphobic."

"Gender is a fact," Chappelle declared. "Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact."

The special aired on Netflix, which prompted employees of the streaming television giant to stage a protest over the stand-up comedian's jokes.

Chappelle blasted the legacy media's attempt to cancel him.

He stated, "F**k Twitter, F**k NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks. I'm not talking to them. I'm talking to you, this is real life."

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos refused to bend the knee to the firestorm posse.

Sarandos proclaimed, "Content on screen doesn't directly translate to real-world harm."

In fact, Netflix canned the employee organizing a worker walkout at the streaming giant over Chappelle's transgender jokes. The employee allegedly leaked classified information about how much Netflix paid for Chappelle's comedy specials — $24.1 million on "The Closer" and $23.6 million on "Sticks & Stones."

BlazeTV's Lauren Chen noted of the comedian, "He's the type of entertainer, the type of person where nothing is off limits, and he’s certainly not afraid of being controversial."

Chappelle went on to release "The Dreamer" comedy special on Netflix in 2023.

Jason Aldean

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Jason Aldean pulled off the opposite of "go woke, go broke" by releasing the law-and-order anthem "Try That in a Small Town."

Online pundits panned the country music song as having racist undertones, endorsing political violence, encouraging lynchings, and advocating vigilantism.

CMT pulled the music video off the country network's air.

Aldean defended the song by saying, "There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it — and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage — and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music — this one goes too far."

He continued, "'Try That in a Small Town,' for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences."

At a concert in Cincinnati, Aldean declared cancel culture to be "bulls**t."

"You guys know how it is this day and age, cancel culture is a thing. That's something that, if people don't like what you say, they try and make sure that they can cancel you, which means try and ruin your life, ruin everything," Aldean stated. "One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans that can see through a lot of the bulls**t."

The backlash drew even more attention to the song, which helped it climb the music charts.

"Try That in a Small Town" debuted at number 24 on the Billboard Country Airplay. Over a month after being released, the song notched the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 — thanks in part to the supposed controversy. It became Aldean's first number-one song since 2014's "Burnin' It Down."

Ricky Gervais

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Comedian Ricky Gervais savagely took no prisoners when hosting the 77th annual Golden Globes in 2020.

Gervais mercilessly mocked A-listers right in front of their faces and refused to back down from even the most taboo Hollywood topics.

Gervais prefaced his hard-hitting monologue by warning the celebrities: "Let's have a laugh — at your expense."

The British comedian joked that the license plate on his limousine was made by Felicity Huffman — the actress sentenced to jail for her role in the 2019 Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. Actor Tom Hanks was visibly disgusted by the joke at the expense of his fellow colleague.

The Golden Globes host not only skewered actors but also roasted Hollywood executives.

"Tonight isn’t just about the people in front of the camera. In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world. People from every background," he said. "But they all have one thing in common: They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow.”

He tagged the line by saying, "He’s coming for you, he’s coming for you."

Farrow is the journalist most known for his investigative reporting on the sexual abuse committed by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, which ushered in the #MeToo movement.

Gervais didn't stop there. He shamelessly plugged his Netflix show "After Life" and then added a zinger.

He said, "You can binge-watch the entire first season of 'After Life.' That's a show about a man who wants to kill himself after his wife dies of cancer. It has a second season though, so he obviously doesn't kill himself in the end — just like Jeffrey Epstein."

The celebrity crowd gasped, to which Gervais fired back: "I know he's your friend, but I don't care."

Gervais blasted the celebrities for lecturing the public.

"So, if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a political platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world," he stated. "Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So, if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God, and f**k off. OK?"

The Gervais-hosted Golden Globes in 2020 boasted 18.3 million viewers. Viewership plummeted to 6.9 million in 2021 and only 6.25 million in 2023. There was no televised Golden Globes ceremony in 2022 because of the diversity and ethics scandal at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – the group that votes on the winners.

Many regard Gervais – who hosted the award show five times – as the best Golden Globes host.

Dana White

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In 2023, Dana White said of the UFC: "We don't do anything woke over here."

White has made it no secret that he is a friend and supporter of former President Donald Trump.

At the 2016 Republican National Convention, White stumped for Trump and explained how their friendship began. White noted that the fledgling UFC was struggling in the early 2000s.

"Nobody took us seriously," White said. "Except Donald Trump."

White remembered how Trump not only took an interest in the UFC but offered to host two mixed martial arts events at the Trump Taj Mahal hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"Donald was the first to recognize the potential that we saw in the UFC and encouraged us to build our business," White recalled.

"He dealt with us personally, got in the trenches with us, and he made a deal that worked for everyone," he continued. "On top of that, he showed up for our fight on Saturday night and sat in the first row."

White declared, "I will always be so grateful to him for standing with us in those early days."

White has continued to be a staunch supporter of Trump despite outside pressure for him to disavow his friend.

During a November 2023 appearance on comedian Theo Von’s podcast, White revealed that a major UFC sponsor instructed him to distance himself from Trump.

"I posted a video for Trump on my personal social media. One of our big sponsors called and said, ‘Take that down.’ You know what I said? 'Go f**k yourself,'" White said on the "This Past Weekend" podcast.

“You vote for whoever you want to vote for, and I’ll vote for whoever I want to vote for," he added. "That’s how this works. I don’t even care who you’re voting for. It’s none of my f*****g business. F**k you. Don’t ever f*****g call me and tell me who to vote for."

White has applied his free-speech advocacy to the UFC and does not censor MMA fighters, even when they make remarks that some have deemed to be offensive.

The UFC CEO said in 2020, "These guys all have their own causes, things, their own beliefs. We don't muzzle anybody here. We let everybody speak their mind."

White convinced casino executives to purchase the struggling Ultimate Fighting Championship for $2 million in 2001, and he was named president of the organization.

In 2016, the UFC was sold for $4.025 billion – making the acquisition the most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history at the time. At the time of the sale, White owned 9% of the UFC.

As of April 2023, the UFC is reported to have a value of $12 billion.

The UFC produced $1.3 billion in revenue in 2023 — a 13% increase from 2022.

White, 54, has an estimated net worth of $500 million.

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Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@Paul_Sacca →