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Peacock Is Removing Controversial Racial Content From WWE Network

WWE has always had, how should we say it, a questionable history with content involving racial themes.  Whether it's their long-seeming apprehension to having a wrestler of color as their World Champion and the sadly low number still to this day, or their always seeming to portray the heroic white American hero vs the evil heel from a foreign land, often a person of color.  Well, we're in a different world now and so is WWE, as they find themselves having to play ball with NBCUniversal's Peacock app that now owns the WWE Network, and with it, all of WWE's questionable moments in their history involving race.

Peacock logo (Image: NBCUniversal)
Peacock logo (Image: NBCUniversal)

In a story from Mike Johnson at PWInsider, he shows how Peacock has seemingly edited a number of controversial moments from WWE's past involving racial issues out of their streaming programming.

One of the two most noticeable instances on Peacock is a match from Wrestlemania VI between Rowdy Roddy Piper (a white man) and Bad News Brown (a black man) where Piper painted half of his face black.  There have always been issues with this moment and they've attempted to explain it either as an attempt for the babyface Piper to show race doesn't matter against the heel Brown (who often referenced race in his promos), or as an odd homage to an old episode of Star Trek.  Whatever the truth, it's a white man wearing black-face and that's simply unacceptable today.

The other instance on Peacock is a backstage segment from the 2005 Survivor Series, where Vince McMahon is trying to impress a still rapper-gimmicked John Cena by using a phrase involving the N-word.  It's a stupefyingly awful moment no matter how you look at it, but especially in that 2005 wasn't really that long ago and it's astonishing that McMahon and the company weren't taken to task for it when it happened.

Now of course we're probably going to hear from the internet's greatest knuckleheads soon in how they think Peacock is censoring WWE history and this is cancel culture and blah, blah, blah.  But here's the deal: WWE sold their network and catalog to Peacock to do with it whatever they please.  And if that means editing out moments that either make them uncomfortable to air or are simply indefensible and without merit, then that's their right.

And here's something to think about that's really going to get them all riled-up: there will be Peacock edits to the Attitude Era!  Yes, Stone Cold will still be chugging beers and The Rock will still be throwing insults like a clown throws pies.  But do you think that we're going to see D-Generation X wearing black-face?  Do you think we're going to see Vince McMahon making Trish Stratus strip down and bark and crawl like a dog?  How are they going to handle the whole Muhammad Hassan depiction?

Get ready guys.  The WWE is part of a big machine now.  And that machine doesn't work with some of the parts WWE was made with.

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Ryan FassettAbout Ryan Fassett

As a lifelong fan of movies, comics, wrestling, and collectibles, Ryan is excited to share his thoughts on all of it with you. He is also an active filmmaker and published comic book writer, along with being a connoisseur of soda.
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