During this week’s episode of SmackDown Live, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal hyped up his title match with Shinsuke Nakamura when he made his way to the ring to cut a promo. During the promo Mahal cracked jokes about Shinsuke, and he said “you always ‘rook’ the same,” before calling the number one contender “Mr. Miyagi.” The promo has been met with some serious backlash, and a writer from The Washington Post asked fans who were in attendance to reach out to her.
If anyone was at last night’s WWE #SmackDownLIVE in Oakland, please contact me for a story about racist promos. email@example.com
— Marissa Payne (@MarissaPayne) September 20, 2017
After the promo went on for a while, fans started to chant “that’s too far” and The Washington Post published an article featuring quotes from fans who were unhappy with the segment.
WWE issued the following statement in response to the article:
“Just like many other TV shows or movies, WWE creates programming with fictional personalities that cover real world issues and sensitive subjects. As a producer of such TV shows, WWE Corporate is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
Wrestling Observer Newsletter writer Dave Meltzer was also quoted in the article, and he pointed out that WWE wouldn’t be able to get away with the things they did during The Attitude Era if they tried to produce similar segments today.
“People are different, the product is different and society is different,” Meltzer said. “You look at stuff that was done even 15-20 years ago, and a large percentage of it, you’d go, you could never do that now. I see this reaction as another example as to why they’ll be very careful not to do it again.”
They say that controversy creates cash, but it’s safe to say that this isn’t the type of controversy WWE wants attached to their company while promoting a PG product.
What was your reaction to the promo? Sound off in the comments below.