Joe Rogan recently revisited Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and then recorded a podcast about how today's generation might find it transphobic.
Rogan does not shy away from controversy on his his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. He often complains about "call out culture," and suggests that some controversies are manufactured. In the case of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, however, he was on the side of transgender people.
"You know what I made the mistake of doing yesterday? I watched Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with my 8-year-old and my 10-year-old," Rogan said, in a conversation with the New York Times' Bari Weiss. "I didn't realize how transphobic that f—ing movie is."
Rogan has two daughters and takes parenting very seriously. He goes on to summarize the plot of the movie, which involves Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) tracking down a dolphin thief through a ruby left at the crime scene. The criminal, he explains, is a former Miami Dolphins football player (Sean Young) who "goes psycho" after botching a kick in front of the whole world.
As a result of the trauma, the player takes on the identity of a woman while exacting their revenge. Rogan even describes a scene where Ace Ventura kisses the criminal, then undresses them, and "all the cops are throwing up, everyone's throwing up. It's off the charts."
Rogan and Weiss discussed the outdated representation in the movie and how a modern audience might react to revisiting it today. Both of them were aghast at the portrayal of transgender identity as a symptom of mental illness, not to mention the exaggerated vomiting reaction of the other men on screen.
"What the left would say is the reason that they're right is that a movie like this won't get made anymore. Isn't that a good thing?" Weiss said.
"Maybe," Rogan said. "Should they pull it? Should it be illegal to have that on iTunes?"
"No, come on," Weiss answered.
Rogan seemed upset by his Ace Ventura viewing experience, but he and Weiss agreed that all media, including books, movies and TV shows, should be left uncensored, with people simply learning to understand that things were different in the past. In addition, before anyone could accuse Rogan of softening his sometimes harsh rhetoric, he dropped an N-word a few minutes later while discussing Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.
"When I saw that movie, I was 10. Transphobia was not a thing," Weiss said, referring to evolving understanding in the general populace. "Now it is a thing. That's good. That's good news."