He realized he was full of kit.

Following almost a month of fast and furry-ous backlash, controversial podcaster Joe Rogan has finally walked back his claim that schools were putting out litter boxes for students. The 55-year-old UFC commentator came clean on last Wednesday’s “Joe Rogan Experience” episode with author Michael Shermer.

“The kitty litter boxes is a weird one,” the comedian conceded on the show. “I don’t think they actually did it.”

Earlier that month, the ex-“Fear Factor” host had told former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard that his friend’s wife taught at a school that had to install a litter box in the girls’ bathroom because a female student identified as a furry, Mediaite reported.

“Her mother badgered the school until they agreed to put a litter box in one of the stalls” Rogan declared at the time. “So this girl goes into the litter room or to the girls’ room and urinates or whatever.”

Joe Rogan had first repeated the claims while talking with former Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in October.
Rogan had repeated the claims while talking with former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in October.
The Joe Rogan Experience

He was referencing false claims regarding concessions at schools across the US. Despite being dispelled by school administrators this past winter, the rumor would continue to be repeated by prominent right-leaning figures, including Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, and of course, Rogan until recently.

The comic finally copped to his mistake after Shermer brought up the kitty litter controversy on the aforementioned “JRE” episode. The “Dumbest Generation” scribe deemed it an “urban legend” that got “spread around as a meme because it kind of fit the conservative view of, you know, liberals and their confusion about gender and sex.”

“It was a weird one,” responded Rogan. “I fed into that and let me — I should probably clarify that a bit.”

He explained, “My friend’s wife is a school teacher and she told him that there was discussions in the school that a mother wanted to put a litter box in one of the bathrooms.”

New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senate candidate Don Bolduc speaks during a debate on Sept. 7, 2022, in Henniker, N.H.
New Hampshire GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc at a debate Sept. 7 in Henniker, NH.

Rogan added that he sparked backlash after repeating the claim on his show, whereupon he was asked to explain further.

“She no longer works for that school,” Rogan said. “She works for another school. She contacted the other school. She didn’t get a response.”

He added, “I think there was discussions about doing it because there was one particularly wacky mother, but there is — it doesn’t seem that there’s any proof that they put a litter box in there.”

Nonetheless, Rogan claimed it didn’t seem outlandish at the time as he’d heard of a similar incident a decade ago. He’d reportedly stumbled upon a furry convention while in Pittsburgh for UFC business.

The kitty litter rumor has since been debunked by school officials.
The kitty litter rumor has been debunked by school officials.
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“So we check into the hotel, the hotel — the guy was working, the front desk was saying how crazy it was that these folks were asking for their food to be delivered in bowls on the ground so they could eat it like animals,” Rogan said. “And I’m like, ‘That’s crazy.’ And then he said they asked for a litter box in the lobby. Now they didn’t put a litter box into the lobby, but someone, according to this man asked him for a litter box. ‘I’m like, that is crazy.’ “

Of course, while the “Here Comes the Boom” actor, might’ve retracted his words, others are sticking to their guns. In a Wednesday interview with NBC, New Hampshire Senate candidate Don Bolduc defended prior claims that schools had enacted the bizarre bathroom concession, claiming that the onus was on the accused schools to “prove” him wrong.

However, the concept of “furries” is very real, with an estimated 250,000 people in the US who identify as a “furry.”

This subculture’s members enjoy dressing up as cartoonish animals, sometimes as a sexual fetish but more often as a fun escape.


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Tyler Cowan