Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk revealed, to Joe Rogan, that his popular video game series initially caused him backlash from some of his fellow skaters.
Tony Hawk is probably the most famous skateboarder of all time, best known for his skills on the vert ramp as well as his hit video games such as the Pro Skater and Underground series.
However, despite the massive popularity of his early video games, they did not seem to go down well with everybody, and Tony revealed why he received backlash during his recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience.
After Joe Rogan asked Hawk about how he manages negative feedback from fans, the popular skater revealed that he was used to criticism and added that even his first venture into creating video games resulted in many of his peers labeling him a “sellout.”
“In the 90s, Xgames came into play and all of a sudden my name was well known, not mainstream but getting there, then our video game came out and it was like oh you’re just a sellout,” he explained.
He continued on, claiming that the video games had given him such a boost in popularity that he received many more opportunities. “Because of the video game and the endorsements that followed from that, I was doing stuff for Jeep, McDonald’s, and Doritos, and they were just like you’re a sellout.”
However, the star admitted that even without all of the fame from the video games he would still be taking commercials such as that if that chance arose. He added “when I turned pro at age 14 if McDonald’s had asked me to be in a commercial I would’ve jumped on it. Are you kidding me? I was eating McDonald’s my whole life, I still do.”
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He later explained that his core beliefs had not changed much since he first started skating, and shared that it only seemed that way because he was receiving more opportunities than before.
“It was more that they thought I changed my values, I haven’t changed my value system,” he admitted, “It’s just that I’m getting these opportunities finally and I’ve been doing this for most of my life.”
Joe also chimed in and explained why he thought people were hating on his early success, “For the most part you’re getting opportunities that they’re not, so the best way to dismiss that or diminish it is to say that you’re a sellout, because you’re on a video game? It’s so shortsighted.”
It was also announced recently that the first two titles in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, which had a massive impact on his career, are soon to be remastered for nostalgic and new skate fans to enjoy.
Tony finished by explaining that, while he does still receive negative feedback from fans on social media, he has become well used to the criticism over the years, particularly after the initial release of his games.