Booker T. speaks out amid allegations that Hulk Hogan’s WWE removal was due to …

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hogan’s racist remarks aren’t a shock: Wrestling is “a sport with both overt racism and bizarre racial ideas and practices”.

The company has deleted most references to Hogan on its website and issued a statement saying it had terminated its contract with arguably the best-known US wrestler in history.

— World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has severed ties with Hulk Hogan amid a report that one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling history used racial slurs in a conversation caught on a sex tape. A longtime fan of pro wrestling and, more recently, the playwright behind the Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” Diaz spoke to Salon about the big larger context.

Hogan, perhaps the biggest star in WWE’s five-decade history, was the main draw for the first WrestleMania in 1985 and was a fixture for years in its signature event, facing everyone from Andre The Giant and Randy Savage to The Rock and even company chairman Vince McMahon. His play, about professional wrestlers in a fictional league, deals largely with themes of racial politics and ethnicity inside the professional wrestling world. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologise for having done it. “This is not who I am. But he was able to transcend his “Hulkamania” fan base to become a celebrity outside the wrestling world, appearing in numerous movies and television shows, including a reality show about his life on VH1, “Hogan Knows Best.” Hogan is currently seeking $100 million from the website Gawker for posting part of the sex tape of him with Heather Cole, the ex-wife of Hogan’s one-time friend and radio show host Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

You’ve followed televised wrestling for a long time — when the news of Hulk Hogan’s racist rant, and his departure from WWE, broke, were you surprised? 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. Gawker, which removed the video from its website under a court order, said it had the right to publish the edited video because Hogan talked in detail about his sex life before the video’s release, which made the story newsworthy. The first thing that I heard was that he had been released from his contract with the WWE; he had been doing some work for them lately… That’s shocking.

Or Latino wrestlers playing gardeners… It was based on a fear of the Other… They do what they can to get the audience behind the “all-American” good guy. The WWE is the brainchild of one man, Vince McMahon, who does not have a great track record on race: He created these stereotypes, and has been accused of things behind the scenes… This is different. I grew up watching professional wrestling; I had a friend in my apartment complex who had an older brother… We started right around the time of the first Wreslemania… Muhammed Ali was there, Liberace was there, the spectacle of it… That’s what I did for most of my childhood, was watch professional wrestling. I don’t know if in the ’80s a wrestler going out and using the n-word would have caused the backlash it does now, now that they are a multi-billion dollar, international conglomerate.

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