|Vince McMahon unapologetic in the face of heat from past insensitivity? THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
The other target of backlash has been WWE itself, which is backlash that the company eminently deserves. Whether it took 35 years and a wrestler who needed genetics and once-in-a-century charisma to get it to book a Black man as its Champion or the numerous incidents of racist activity in storyline, including Vince McMahon saying the n-word out loud to John Cena at Survivor Series 2005, WWE's moral authority to rip people for racism is about as powerful as Zack Ryder's stroke is to get himself a run with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Of course, the company would have to react; it'd be foolish not to. But it could have taken one of two routes. The first route would be to deny any kind of wrongdoing in regards to anyone and play tone-deaf defense to make sure no one is able to attack the company. The second would be a more thoughtful approach, one not dissimilar in tone to how Warner Bros. presents questionable cartoons from the past. Guess which one McMahon decided to take.
The exact verbiage of WWE's defensive defense as given to TMZ (Via WrestleChat, obvs) is as follows:
[It] was an outlandish and satirical skit involving fictional characters, similar to that of many scripted television shows and movies.I can think of a few situations where that defense might be okay, but honestly, none of them could be applied to WWE. For a company that has been so outwardly hostile towards Black characters in its history to be so self-righteous about questionable acts is pretty lame.
The past can be forgiven, not erased but forgiven, if the company makes a much more concerted effort towards embracing true diversity leading into true colorblindness (which to be fair, nothing in American society has truly become colorblind thanks to racists still infiltrating the media and other bastions of power) starting tonight on RAW. The attitudes have to change on camera and in the boardrooms and writing sessions, not just with lip service paid on social media from whatever interns are running Triple H's and Stephanie McMahon's Twitter accounts. Strides have been made since 2005, but as that statement proves, those strides have fallen short.
Of course, the heat shouldn't lessen on Hogan here. The whole situation continues to stink, even if it's not necessarily surprising. It just goes to show that the whole business needs a wakeup call.