The ghost ad shows a man suffering from an allergic reaction and falling to the floor, causing a spectator to prepare an epi-pen.
But in an apparent mockery of the vaccine-hesitant man, the visibly dying man is unsure whether he will receive the life-saving sting, and instead chooses a series of questions about the safety of the procedure, citing “statistics from Europe”.
Finally, he asks, “What did Joe Rogan say? Call Joe …” before finally expiring.
Rogan slammed the video – and Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic more broadly – under the apparent belief that it was an official government announcement.
“Not only has Australia had the worst reaction to the pandemic with dystopian police state measures that are truly unthinkable for the rest of the civilized world, but they also have the absolute dumbest propaganda,” he wrote on Instagram.
He later posted an addendum saying, “EDIT: this is apparently not a real ad. It’s from a satirical show.”
The creators behind the video told 9News.com.au that they found Mr Rogan’s reaction funny and that proved the point they were trying to make with it.
“The horror is a satirical show. The purpose of the video was to talk about some of the problems anti-vaxxers have and put it in a humorous context to show the ridiculousness of what’s out there,” Nick Hunter, co-creator and CEO of Paper Moose, the creative brains behind the satirical video told 9News.com.au.
“It’s literally a demonstration of the problem we’re trying to solve in the world today, so it was a little funny that Joe Rogan reacted the way he did.”
Hunter said everyone is entitled to their opinion on the safety and efficacy of the available COVID-19 vaccines, but Paper Moose believes in supporting scientific evidence.
Rogan has said he is not an anti-waxer, although he told listeners on his popular podcast earlier this year that if a 21-year-old asked him if they should be vaccinated, he would suggest they did not.
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“If you’re a healthy person and you exercise all the time and you’re young and you eat well, then I do not think you need to worry about this,” Rogan said.
He later clarified his comments, saying he “is not an anti-wax person” and that he “is not a respected source of information, even for me.”
Australia’s lockdown strategy has been seized by the far right in the US as an example of tyranny, with marches calling for Australia’s liberation, and commentator Candace Owens even compares it to the alleged repression that had triggered previous US military interventions abroad.
Gruen, formerly known as The Gruen Transfer, is a show that explores advertising techniques and spin.