WWE Hall-of-Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler's Dinner With The King podcast included a conversation about sexual harassment, sexual assault, and equality that went a little bit off the rails… before going completely off the rails and ending in a fiery train wreck.
The King's co-host brought up the sweeping movement of women (and some men) going public with their stories of sexual harassment and assault, and, shockingly, people actually listening, believing them, and doing something about it. To Lawler, that's apparently not a good thing.
"It's so crazy. This is my view," Lawler said, acknowledging that others might disagree. "It appears that eventually anybody that's ever flirted with anybody or had any kind of sexual contact with anybody is, all of a sudden, you could potentially be a target in the future."
Lawler's co-host tried to explain that these were serious allegations, using as an example people waking up from sleeping or being drugged to find someone performing a sexual act without their consent. Lawler laughed.
"I've seen pictures in the past of wrestlers, I'm not gonna say who or whatever, this was guys, but as a joke or a prank, a wrestler falls asleep, and another guy comes over and says 'take a picture of this' and he takes his genitals out and puts it near the guy's face," Lawler remembered. "It's a prank and it's done in jest, but it's like a college kid's prank. I've seen that done before."
"At the time, you're thinking 'this is totally harmless,'" he continued. "But then if all of a sudden if, 15-years-later, that photograph shows up somewhere, it's gonna offend somebody. That's the way the country has become, that everything that 99% of the people may think is done in jest, or whatever, all of a sudden that 1% out there is gonna be offended by it. And that 1% can speak as loudly as the other 99% cannot."
Lawler's co-host tried once again to explain that he was not talking about pranks, but serious sexual assaults where a person takes advantage of a power dynamic to force sexual activity with another person. Lawler responded by blowing a raspberry (seriously).
"Pfftbt," Lawler responded. "I don't know. I've never heard of anything like that happening before. But gosh, the times have just changed so much. Good grief. I remember the stuff at commentary, things that we would be able to get away with saying, that nowadays, god, people's heads would explode. Could you imagine going out and saying, get ready, tonight, we've got a bra and panties match. That used to be the highlight of a show. A bra and panties match."
"I remember, one of my favorite lines," Lawler added, "was, panties aren't the greatest thing in the world, but they are next to it."
The co-host and lawyer stopped to reminisce about a favorite line during the 1990s where Lawler said on commentary that" a woman should be obscene and not heard." He then asked Lawler about Lawler's Attitude era persona, and whether fans have trouble telling the difference between his lecherous on screen character and the real life Lawler.
"No, not at all," Lawler replied. "Everybody, to a man, or to a person really, that ever talks to me about the things that we did or said during the Attitude Era, they talk with fondness. I mean, they loved it. They say, man, it'll never be that good again. So I don't know. It was just that, at that time, it didn't offend people."
"I don't know how the country and people's attitudes have changed so much over a short period of time that now those things are taboo," Lawler lamented. But back during that time, I mean, that's all I'd hear about. 'My gosh, I used to love it when you'd commentate on a bra and panties match, or you know, with the divas.'"
"Good grief, we've gone so far now we can't even refer to them as divas," Lawler finished. "The women have to be treated the same as the men. I don't know. That's just the way times have changed."
Listen to the audio below: