Welcome to I’ve Got An Issue!
*Sigh* this is…..going to be rough one. I was contemplating posting the recording of this issue, but after further review that wouldn’t go over well. I think people would miss the point I’m making during my expletive laced rant. I don’t normally talk like that unless I’m truly heated or pissed off plus I am an amateur professional everyone lol. I had to calm down and gather my thoughts properly and comprehensively make my point without sounding like another blogger who just curses at things that pisses them off.
So let’s talk about Hulk Hogan
Who is Hulk Hogan?
I take you live under a rock or you’ve never heard of professional wrestling. WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING BROTHER have no fear, your friend Matt is here to inform you of the Hulkster! Hulk Hogan is like the Superman of professional wrestling dude. His popularity during 1980s brother created a mainstream wrestling boom (along with Vince Jr’s vision of WWE going national with ppvs and cable) called Hulkamania! Eat your vitamins, say your prayers, you will never go wrong! You see Hulk Hogan wasn’t just another wrestler he is and was a role model. He is a global icon and national treasure to many people. Hogan’s achievements speak for themselves. Just look it up on google. Hogan can be called the definition of a pro wrestler. Everyone knows the legend that is Hulk Hogan and now you do too (sorta! He is a big deal ok!)! Hulkamania continues to run wild brother.
Well…What happens when a role model makes a huge mistake though? A mistake that can offend a race and muck up the legacy that is Hulkamania dude?
The Hulkster’s racist?
I also believe you live under rock if you haven’t watched the news or been on any social media this week. Apparently a eight year old transcript leaked of Hulk Hogan saying the N word during his stolen sex tape with Bubba the love sponge’s wife. Hogan says
“I mean, I’d rather if she was going to fuck some n***er, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n***er worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!….I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n***er.”
Yikes….that’s horrible! Hulkster why?! There couldn’t possibly be another time where Hulk Hogan said the N word right?? RIGHT? Wrong. In an interview with DJ Whoo Kid in 2012, Hulk Hogan was explaining being call the N word…Oh my Maker why…..
“And everybody down there—Lil Wayne, Birdman—they’re all calling me ‘nigga,’ and then I started sayin’ it. And I always said it, but now all of a sudden I get heat when I say it, and they say, ‘Hogan, you can’t say that,’ so I say, ‘Why can they say it to me then?”
Sigh the common “I’m white and I don’t get why I can be called it, but I can’t say it” trope. Aww Hulkster buddy…brother come on. 2007 & 2012….the two times Hogan said the N word was recorded on wax (that means recorded in audio form by any means for those who don’t know slang). Was he foolish for saying those things knowing there is a unbeknownst red light or a solid microphone in front of his face? Absolutely. To channel my Murda Mook was the media wrong for putting it out there well he was wrong for recording it. When you are a big star like Hulk Hogan, you have to be very mindful of what you say especially when it pertains to race. The same thing happened to Bieber when he made jokes using the N word. There was outrage by fans, celebs, and the media which brought upon an apology. Hogan sent out a weird tweet the night of WWE finding out (I guess) followed by this apology the next day.
“Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation, It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it…I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”
Now cynical people can say “Oh that’s a bullshit apology, I’m not buying that” which you are entitled to believe, but I’m not one of those people. This was genuine apology to me because Hulk Hogan doesn’t seem to be racist at heart. People have bad days, we are all guilty of having them, and we have said some really screwed up stuff about race, religion, orientation, gender, etc in our own private time. I’ve never met Hulk Hogan in person, but brother I don’t feel like that guy is a racist. He has touched so many different people’s lives it would be so odd that he happens to be a racist too. This is like John Cena being a Nazi. It is such an odd fit to a person who seems so genuine to people. I never picked up that vibe that Hogan is racist. People can be capable of anything, but I just could never see Hogan being that racist guy spewing hate speech.
Anyways, WWE terminates Hogan contract as they should because you have a business to run. Actions have consequences. I don’t condone what he said 8 years or 3 years ago and you shouldn’t either. Don’t think I’m brushing this under a rug because I’m a wrestling fan. It’s not like that. You just wouldn’t expect someone like Hulk to say stuff like that because his persona stands for everybody. It mortified me, hurt me as a black man and long time fan of the Hulkster. I understood maybe why he said it being that 2007 was a tough year in general for Hulk with his son Nick critically injuring his own friend, a divorce, not being payed well, and I’m sure of many other things we don’t know about. His daughter dating a black man shouldn’t have illicit that type of response, but I understand tough times = not thinking = saying really ignorant and racist things. I don’t condone it and neither should you. The most important point is he knows what he did was wrong and he is trying to recover from that. I don’t see the point of beating Hulk Hogan into the ground, destroying Hulkamania further when Hogan single-handedly brought his own legacy rock bottom with just one word.
World Wrestling Entertainment also known as WWE issued a stock statement regarding Hogan’s comments. I figured it was going to be one of their super PC responses whenever something goes wrong. It is a business after all. You want to be super PC to your consumers and not offend anyone. Here is WWE’s statement.
“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
Now that’s concise and straight to the point, but I began to think of one specific time where the same word was used and nothing came from it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtAJqeTpDis
This is the time that CEO, Vince McMahon, used the N word to describe John Cena in a backstage segment while walking past Booker T and his wife Sharmel (for comedy because Booker slipped up and said it a long time ago?). This occurred in 2005. Mind you this segment had nothing to do with Cena’s current storyline or anything to do with Booker T’s. I point this out because people were using “it’s a storyline” as a defense for Vince saying that. SO I really wanted to know what WWE was going to say when this was brought to their attention. You know what they had the audacity to say? This.
“(It) was an outlandish and satirical skit involving fictional characters, similar to that of many scripted television shows and movies.”
Oh really? So I suppose if Finn the human or Spongebob Squarepants (You guys are PG right?) said the N word in an episode it would be all in good in the hood to quote Vince. It’s perfectly fine because they are fictional and a fictional character couldn’t possibly hurt someone’s feelings or insult someone’s race right? That’s basically what WWE is saying. After all, a company who was transitioning into becoming PG entity that it is today should put on a pre-scripted offensive skit that was most likely rehearsed before going live. This didn’t make anyone say “hey maybe Vince shouldn’t say that word when we have a ‘diverse’ group of workers and fans”. Would they use that now? No, of course not. Seriously, WWE I was fine with the first stock apology, but to justify that sketch with that statement is absolute bollocks. I feel like they were on their high horse for writing that. WWE was saying “we aren’t apologizing for that sketch brother! It was satire because old white people be crazy YO!”. That’s justifying using that word in their segments as long as it fits protocol. What I don’t like from that comment is WWE acting like they don’t have a closet full of racist moments in their past. From my understand, the second statement invalidates the first statement. I would have preferred them to say
“(It) was an unacceptable and offensive skit involving fictional characters that we acknowledge and regret doing back then”.
Own up to your past garbage and move forward. Don’t try to justify it regardless if it was in the name of satire, comedy or pure stupidity. Apologize and move forward just like Hogan is trying to do. No one is going to forget it, but the least you can do is genuinely apologize. I’m not surprised though. As I’ve said before WWE has a closet full of racist moments and I feel like we should go over a few since they dug eight years back. Let’s look into their closet.
WWE’s Racist Past
Storytime! One year ago, there was a Hispanic wrestler who went by the name of Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio was a former WWE champion (the belt is now known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship) also one of the 3 acknowledged champions of color. The other two champions are Rey Mysterio & The Rock (yes The Rock counts as a champion of color. He is not just Samoan. His dad is African-Canadian while his mother is Samoan which makes The Rock dual-racial with dual citizenship). On August 7th of 2014, Alberto Del Rio was fired from the company for slapping a social media manager named Cody Barbierri who made numerous racist jokes towards Del Rio and people of Hispanic decent. Alberto demanded an apology while Barbierri smirked in his face after many warnings from Del Rio to stay away from him. So what does WWE think about this? WWE says in a tweet
“@VivaDelRio is responsible for his own actions. If you’re angry at anyone, be angry at Alberto “ and “There’s no excuse for a pro athlete not to conduct themselves in a professional manner”.
So hold on….Del Rio stood up for himself to a racist punk and got fired for that. It took two months later, Barbierri was terminated from the company. HE got to keep his job TWO MONTHS after all of it. The crappy part about it is Del Rio wasn’t even supposed to get fired. Suspended yes, but punk Barbierri decides to sue them if they didn’t fire Del Rio. LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR, BARBIERRI WAS GOING TO SUE WWE BECAUSE THE GUY HE MADE RACIST JOKES ABOUT DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT. THIS WAS LAST YEAR! I couldn’t believe WWE. Imagine if Darren Young stand up for himself towards racist homophobic employee or Hideo Itami stands up for himself towards racist employee. Are they going to get fired for being unprofessional when unprofessional one is the racist/homophobic employee? Yet WWE celebrates their diverse roster, but won’t have their back when situations like this occurs.
WWE will judge Hogan’s past, but will not look at their own. There have been countless offensive,stereotypical, and racist gimmicks that are archived in WWE’s history and currently going on now. I’ve spoken about The early days of the New Day being a pseudo-stereotypical black Christian group, but that has changed into a group of three dudes who are just really positive and would like the world to join them. On the other hand, you have Los Matadores who are two matadores with a little person in a bull costume. The performers are Hispanic. Surprise right? They used to be known as Primo and Epico, but got repackaged to this. Now this gimmick is for children, but they are rarely used. When they are used they are most likely going to lose. It’s mildly racist because it is stereotypical. “Hispanic people are Matadores so…why not?” seems to be the logic. It isn’t as offensive or racist as another Hispanic stable that was known in 2005 as the Mexicools. You can watch their debut here and see why I point this out http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7fl9x_mexicools-debut-23-6-05_sport.
Three prestigious hispanic superstars (Juventud Guerrera, Psychosis & Super Crazy) reduced to gardeners who complain about Hispanic people getting degraded in the business yet they are degrading themselves. It was embarrassing. There is a time was OK! We time travel farther where legend Rowdy Piper went half blackface in a feud with Bad News Brown, a Piper’s Pit where he smashed Jimmy Snuka in the head with a Coconut because “he wanted him to feel at home”. Another time in blackface was when Goldust went completely blackface against a black wrestler Too Cold Scorpio.
Apparently, it was done for attention because he didn’t want to be Goldust any more at the time.
I can talk about gimmicks all day, but I’ll give you a list of offensive, stereotypical, racist gimmicks or moments in WWE’s past you can look up. There’s Akeem the African, Cryme Tyme, ’05 Tanaka, The SilverBack Mark Henry promo, Kerwin White’s existence The MEDICINE LADY HAHA…I mean PAPA SHANGO, Amish Roadkill, Billy & Chuck, Nation of Domination, Kaientai (Choppy Choppy X Dubbing), Kung Fu Naki, Kamala, Eugene, Muhammad Hassan, Virgil, the promo between Booker T & Triple H before Wrestlemania 19 (VERY GREAT ARTICLE RIGHT HERE IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME. IT BREAKS DOWN the entire storyline perfectly http://www.wrestlecrap.com/inductions/booker-t-vs-triple-h/), and a disgusting promo with Greg The Hammer Valentine about facing the Junkyard Dog at Wrestlemania.
Let’s get to the meat of the issue, this whole digging of the past thing. I’ve already mentioned nothing happening to hypocritical Vince McMahon saying the N word because it’s “satire” according to the company. What happens when another legend says the N word and it is their honest feelings. I’m talking about Michael P.S. Hayes. Hayes, who is still employed with company, told Mark Henry back in 2008 “I’m more of a n***er than you are.” Hayes was suspended after that, but still has his job. Hayes also reportedly said the N word casually without WWE getting upset and he got credited with the idea black people don’t need a gimmick because being black is their gimmick. NOW if we want to be PC about it WWE, isn’t that pretty racist? Why isn’t PS Hayes gone from the company too? He said the same word Hogan did to be fair. So he should receive the shame punishment even if WWE dealt with it then. Hogan’s was in the past and so was Michael Haye’s. A suspension does not equal a termination. That’s bollocks to pick and choose when to be offended by racism when the company has profited off of racial stereotypes and blatant racism. If one person under a WWE contract has to be terminated for something they did or said in the past then all of them have to be terminated for their actions as well. The nerve to do that to Hogan, but slap Hayes on the wrist like it is nothing.
Bigger Question: WHY NOW?
What really bothers me about this is the timing of the “found evidence” of Hogan being “racist”. Don’t get me wrong this incident was 8 years ago and another incident occurred 3 years later on a radio show, Hogan was rehired in 2014. LAST YEAR. Wouldn’t WWE know about this already if they do background checks on every employee who returns or joins the company? This is like in a bizarre universe where Chyna comes back to the WWE while the IWC knows she did a couple pornos for years. Then in this universe, WWE terminates the contract year later after mysteriously “finding out” . It just doesn’t make sense. I find it a little odd they decide to drop this ban hammer now when they probably knew about this when they rehired Hogan. I hope and pray this isn’t some joker’s idea of work because that is serious business man.
Final Nail: Should WWE erase Hogan Like The Crippler?
WWE is a never ending story book that edits its own history to fit its demographic. WWE does not acknowledge things that may seem negative, from my understand they prefer to believe it never existed. WWE is not like any other organizations who acknowledges negative things going on. For example, the coverage on Aaron Hernandez a former (then current) NFL player who murdered a man or last year’s fiasco in the NBA with Donald Sterling and the N word. The situation is acknowledged, talked about, and progressed. WWE doesn’t do that. The E will issue a statement, repress the idea of that person existing and phase them out of WWE’s history. I understood why WWE did it for Chris Benoit because murder is on the table. Of course I won’t forget what Benoit did for the business or what he did in his final days, but WWE has no idea who that person is. To do it for Hulk Hogan though, THE HULK HOGAN, I don’t think it is even possible. Hogan’s popularity alone helped wrestling go mainstream plus other variables and erasing his mark on the business is a pretty insulting thing to do. Hogan clearly made a mistake eight years ago and he is paying for it now, but to take him out of the video game, removing all merchandise, removing all mentions of Hogan, is a bit extreme. I get it from a business stance, but still it is a bit bananas. Will his matches disappear off of the WWE Network, will Wrestlemanias get edited if they have Hogan in them? What is the next step in repressing & phasing him out of WWE’s history? It is hypocritical to fire him for saying a word 8 years ago when the CEO said it on a live ppv 10 years ago. It is hypocritical to keep Michael PS. Hayes with a job while deleting Hogan from history. It is hypocritical to fire an employee for standing up and defending his background, but claim the company celebrates individuals from all backgrounds. It is hypocritical to pick and choose to be offended by racist and offensive ideas, but be fine with it as long as it is satire or profitable. How can I take WWE seriously when they are hypocrites themselves? I understand the reaction very well. Racism will not be tolerated period. However WWE judges Hulk Hogan’s past, but fails to look at their own or any other employee of the company. It is sickening WWE chooses to be serious, but fails to own up to their own crap over the years.
Hulkamania will never die, unless WWE decides Hulkamania never existed.