Hulk Hogan Gets Mega-Fired Over Racist Rant
July 24, 2015 6:20 PM   Subscribe

Hulk Hogan is perhaps the most famous professional wrestler in history (though the Rock is working on that). Over the last three decades, he led the WWF to dominance, nearly destroyed it by signing with rival promotion WCW, came to an uneasy detente while working for not-even-close-to-rival promotion TNA, and finally made a triumphant return to the since-renamed WWE, culminating in hosting duties at last year's WrestleMania XXX. He was even claiming that he was training for one final match, perhaps at next year's WrestleMania 32 in AT&T Stadium in Texas. But then the National Enquirer got hold of a transcript of a sex tape wherein Hogan uses the N-word three or four times while discussing his daughter's sex life.

Reaction was swift. WWE has cut all ties with Hogan, firing him and saying in a statement:
WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.
The company has scrubbed him from their website* -- including the Hall of Fame -- and taking all of his merchandise out of their online store. Hogan has issued a standard-issue apology for this sort of thing, complete with "It is not who I am" and a claim that he resigned from WWE (which maintains that it fired him first). Cageside Seats has a page collecting various stories and reactions.

Oh, and that sex tape? It's part of a lawsuit Hogan filed against Gawker for $100 million, possibly more because he feared the rant becoming public than the sex.

* -- In case WWE changes it, that page is different from their usual 404 and said "You are not authorized to access this page." as of Friday night.
posted by Etrigan (112 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Good job, WWE! You've just done a good thing & put the NFL to shame.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:26 PM on July 24, 2015 [21 favorites]


I'm stuck wondering if any of the wrestlers I loved as a kid weren't horrible people. I mean, I liked Hogan a bit (though as a young Jewish kid, I was painfully aware the prayers he was talking about weren't the ones we sang on Saturdays). Aside from Hogan, Jake the Snake was awesome, but, well, I've seen Beyond the Mat. Hogan has been a clearly terrible person for years, but that transcript is worse than I thought it was going to be. I'm looking forward to hearing what Alberto del Rio says about this, and how quickly they distanced themselves. The fact that the guy who used slurs at del Rio kept his job at first vs. this, it looks like it's a pretty clearly a damage control situation rather than any moral act.

I'd like to believe that some of the people active now are at least reflective of how things have changed in society, but I wonder. If, say, Daniel Bryan is a horrible person, or Sami Zayn is a monster, damn, that would be kind of crushing.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:28 PM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


What can you even say. I'm not surprised, I guess, though I'm not proud of that. And part of me feels like a person should be afforded a certain level of privacy in their bedroom. But of course you can't put the genie back in the bottle on something like this. Stupid racist genie.
posted by The Minotaur at 6:29 PM on July 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


This makes me glad I bailed on the idea of having my groomsmen wear Hulkamania t-shirts.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:31 PM on July 24, 2015 [15 favorites]


Was this released because of the lawsuit? Like, was it leaked as retaliation?
posted by mittens at 6:32 PM on July 24, 2015


Terry Bollea just executed a perfect leg drop onto Hulk Hogan! 1-2-3, It is over! Hulk loses! Career rage quit!!
posted by Muncle at 6:34 PM on July 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


Ashley Madison might not be capable, but the WWE certainly has full delete power! For free, even!
posted by Fig at 6:34 PM on July 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not having seen the sex tape, so I don't have the context; who talks about the sex life of their progeny when they're making a sex tape?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:35 PM on July 24, 2015 [41 favorites]


So, if you're going to make a sex tape, stick to the sex. Ok got it, life lesson learned.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:43 PM on July 24, 2015 [22 favorites]


Vince McMahon is a billionaire. Wow.
posted by Nevin at 6:50 PM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I suppose this happens often enough that we should give it a term -- "Paula Deened"? Distinctly different from getting Paul Reubened.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:51 PM on July 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


who talks about the sex life of their progeny when they're making a sex tape?

Apparently, virulent racists.
posted by axiom at 6:52 PM on July 24, 2015 [13 favorites]


Darren Aronofsky should make a movie about this. It can end with the hulkster at a party tag teaming that double headed dildo snake with Dog the bounty hunter.
posted by dgaicun at 6:54 PM on July 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm stuck wondering if any of the wrestlers I loved as a kid weren't horrible people.

The Ultimate Warrior.






(sorry)
posted by Ndwright at 6:55 PM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really think the deletion thing is kind of stupid. I mean, merchandise, sure, but it's not like they're going to make people forget that Hulk Hogan was a wrestler. It just serves to highlight how weirdly insecure the WWE is about everything.

They delete the most famous performer in their history? The MLB doesn't pretend Ty Cobb wasn't a baseball player.
posted by selfnoise at 6:59 PM on July 24, 2015 [24 favorites]


Argh. This whole thing is so ugly. I've been hoping Hogan would win in court, because nobody deserves to have sex tapes come out without their consent. I mean maybe if you're out there making life miserable for one minority or another and it exposes your hypocrisy, like some politician trolling for same-sex prostitutes while decrying the gay agenda and all that. Beyond that, this sort of shit shouldn't happen to anyone. Man, woman, married, single, promiscuous, doesn't freakin' matter.

All that said...something like this comes out? Man. I don't know what else WWE was supposed to do, y'know?

Dear Gawker: You still win no points from me. This is good on WWE, but you're still awful.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:01 PM on July 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


Another celebrity turns heel, and the crowd boos on cue. Why don't we throw in a sex tape, too?

America never changes.
posted by swift at 7:02 PM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


If the Court finds for Hogan in Hogan v. Gawker, then one free chance to drop kick Nick Denton seems like just compensation.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:03 PM on July 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


It just serves to highlight how weirdly insecure the WWE is about everything.

Yeah. I don't really blame them for the way they've pretty much scrubbed out Chris Benoit, but as ugly as this is, a racist tirade doesn't exactly hit that level of awful, y'know?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:03 PM on July 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ok, maybe a pile-driver, too.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:04 PM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I haven't heard Hogan use the N-word before, but I have heard him called that before. (To which Hogan apparently did not take offense.)
posted by delfin at 7:06 PM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


WHILE DISCUSSING HIS DAUGHTER'S SEX LIFE.

We might be focusing on the wrong end of this conversation.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:13 PM on July 24, 2015 [18 favorites]


It just serves to highlight how weirdly insecure the WWE is about everything.

Yeah. I don't really blame them for the way they've pretty much scrubbed out Chris Benoit, but as ugly as this is, a racist tirade doesn't exactly hit that level of awful, y'know?


To me it's not really about how "bad" whatever happened was, it's about owning what you created and paid for and being an adult about it. There was a news story today that Junior Seau's family was not going to be allowed to speak at his hall of fame induction because god forbid the NFL ever be associated with anything that made people uncomfortable, or even thoughtful.

Corporations and sports leagues shouldn't be allowed to just cravenly erase anything that makes them look imperfect.
posted by selfnoise at 7:15 PM on July 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


Yeah. I don't really blame them for the way they've pretty much scrubbed out Chris Benoit, but as ugly as this is, a racist tirade doesn't exactly hit that level of awful, y'know?

Yeah, it's weird because Benoit is the only person they've scrubbed like this and he literally murdered people. Meanwhile, there's plenty of virulent bigots still enshrined by the WWE. I almost wonder if there's other stuff that's about to drop?
posted by kmz at 7:16 PM on July 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hulk Hogan's relationship with his daughter and her sex life has been creepy and weird for a long, long, time.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 7:16 PM on July 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


selfnoise:They delete the most famous performer in their history? The MLB doesn't pretend Ty Cobb wasn't a baseball player.

But they do with Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson, though for gambling, not racism.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 7:17 PM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really think the deletion thing is kind of stupid. I mean, merchandise, sure, but it's not like they're going to make people forget that Hulk Hogan was a wrestler. It just serves to highlight how weirdly insecure the WWE is about everything.

Eh, professional wrestling is about two rungs above monster jam in terms of respect for reality so I'm not sure erasing a star from it history is inconsistent with its ethos. Also, honest question, how many active wrestling fans were alive during hulls last March in 2003?
posted by midmarch snowman at 7:18 PM on July 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


OOo, I dunno, I'm kind of torn on this to be honest. Obviously, what he said it's horrible and horribly racist, but he said it in the privacy of his own home. I don't feel great about punishing people for what they think, rather what they do. Has hs acted in a racist way, or said racist things publicly? (genuine question).

I dunno, on the one hand, we should have no tolerance for publicly expressed racist sentiments or actions. But this is only public by dint of the tape leaking. I know I've said non racist things, in private, to my wife, I would never view as fit for public consumption. And without the private context those words would come across - and would be in some cases - quite horrible.
posted by smoke at 7:19 PM on July 24, 2015 [22 favorites]


I heard Hogan was a jabroni. Very reputable source.
posted by ctmf at 7:19 PM on July 24, 2015 [28 favorites]


but
posted by M Edward at 7:20 PM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


According to the link the contents were under seal and leaked by five separate sources. Try replacing Hulk Hogan with various other famous and non-famous people trying to recover their stolen sex tape in the courts and see how this changes your perception of this.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:28 PM on July 24, 2015 [5 favorites]






There have been...potential signs.

(The anti-bandana rule is the best.)

Hulk Hogan is perhaps the most famous professional wrestler in history (though the Rock is working on that).

Stone Cold made Vince more money. Too bad injuries kept him from going on. Though, also a scumbag.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:37 PM on July 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I haven't read the transcript

I will not read the transcript, nor should you. This is a gross invasion of privacy and we should not participate in it.

If he was in a position of public trust such that his private, never-expressed views might hurt others through sneaky forms of discrimination then this tape would legitimately be of interest. If he was a teacher, a cop or a politician then knowing that he's got a head full of spiders would be everyone's business. He's a wrestler, or he was.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:37 PM on July 24, 2015 [13 favorites]


As a teacher with a head full of spiders, I object to your rash stereotyping.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:44 PM on July 24, 2015 [19 favorites]


Vince McMahon is a billionaire. Wow.

That's why he walks like this.
posted by sparkletone at 7:44 PM on July 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


The triple irony is that this is a fake wrestler exposed by the fake news, who once bounced back from a real life steroid scandal by casually denying it with 24-inch arms.
posted by Brian B. at 7:49 PM on July 24, 2015 [11 favorites]


I couldn't imagine being Hulk Hogan.
posted by alex_skazat at 7:54 PM on July 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Curious as to the origin of the first image posted above by HZSF, I did a tiny bit of reverse image searching, and stumbled across this good looking grantland article from 2013: "A (Very) Concise History of Racism in Wrestling, 1980-Present". Thought it perhaps worth sharing here.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 7:57 PM on July 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'd argue that, especially in this sense, WWE has every right to sever ties over what Hogan said on the tape, even if, as it appears, Hogan wasn't aware he was being taped. Hogan was the absolute face of the company. He still (though maybe that'll be edited out now) appears in the opening Then, Now, Forever montage at the beginning of each show. Right now, and for some time to come, Hogan is very clearly linked in the public's mind to some pretty ugly racist shit. Hogan, to many people, still clearly equals wrestling. WWE at least realizes that hey can't have someone like that still so strongly tied to the company (being one of the judges on their reality show, being the GM on an upcoming Australian tour, openly pleading for a match at Wrestlemania).

One can only hope that, going forward, this might effect some change, but McMahon is still in charge, and Triple H has a long rumored history of racist bullshit, and as you can still see, black wrestlers only tag with other black wrestlers, and non-white wrestlers are pretty much only allowed to be stereotypes, not actual human characters.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:05 PM on July 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


Given the amount of head trauma he's suffered, and its effect on executive function; I'll reserve my pitchforks for banksters. He gets only my disgust.
posted by persona au gratin at 8:25 PM on July 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


ANDRE HAD IT RIGHT ALL ALONG.
posted by sparkletone at 11:37 on July 25


ANDRE THE GIANT HAS A POLICY
7'4,"
520 LB
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:25 PM on July 24, 2015 [22 favorites]


I'm stuck wondering if any of the wrestlers I loved as a kid weren't horrible people.

Never meet your heroes.
I'm not saying it's a universal truth, but it comes pretty close.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:53 PM on July 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm extremely uncomfortable with the precedent this sets.
posted by Veritron at 9:06 PM on July 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Was wondering when (if) this would show up here.

The thing is, lots of people think/talk exactly like Hulk Hogan did on tape when they think they're in a situation where it's ok (for some value of ok). That said, he's not being punished because he thinks/talk like this - he's being punished because he got recorded saying that stuff.

End of the day, if we're picking between WWE (which doesn't exactly have a sterling history when it comes to racial progressiveness) vs. off-the-cuff remarks made when an old man who had no idea he was being taped, I actually think Hogan has a pretty fair case that he's the one being wronged, here (hence his lawsuit - the timing of which and the timing of this story seem awfully shady when measured against one another).

Another angle: that sex tape has been around for years. Extramarital activity? WWE says no problem. Racist bullshit pillow talk after extramarital activity? Sound the alarm.

Ultimately, this is probably too complicated for the internet to handle without it devolving into a shitshow of the highest order. Of course, gawker media is involved.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 9:07 PM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm disgusted that someone would leak someone else's sex tape.

I'm angered by the racism.

I'm surprised at how mild the "discussing his daughter's sex life" part is.

And I'm grossed out that Heather Clem would have sex with him. Ew. Surely she could do better.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:10 PM on July 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm stuck wondering if any of the wrestlers I loved as a kid weren't horrible people.

If you're old and enjoyed watching the Kosher Krusher on the Canadian circuit in the 50s after his stint on the Blue Bombers, you'll be happy to learn that he later moved into political science and is an allright dude.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:10 PM on July 24, 2015 [13 favorites]


Everything about this situation makes me need to shower.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:00 PM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


The daughter's sex life thing

If you don't have older family members with strongly racist views, you might be surprised by how common this is, when it comes to their kids. My dad, a crusty old white-supremacist/sexist etc, wasn't a happy man when I came out as bisexual, but never much said anything about it. Until I brought home my first boyfriend, a towering Welshman.

"If you have to go out with men, did it have to be a Welshman?" *shakes his head*

"You're lucky it wasn't a black guy." *stops dead*

Perhaps in the vague sense of having dodged a bullet, he's been nothing but polite and friendly to my other partners since.
posted by The Zeroth Law at 10:56 PM on July 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


Man, I hate every party involved in this, as well as the casual racism and the way that this whole thing just shows how upside-down and screwed-up and scapegoat-y our societal response is to our issues with racism. But as a tiny silver lining, I cannot cannot cannot wait to see this union-backstabbing piece of dogshit file a wrongful termination suit. That'll just be delicious.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:59 PM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


WWE's actions in firing Hulk Hogan are predictable and entirely rational from a PR perspective. They don't care that he's a creepy misogynist racist. They care that he got caught on tape being one. Having him continue to be their figurehead would be damaging to their brand. That his privacy was violated is irrelevant to whether he is now a liability or not.

I doubt he has grounds for wrongful termination; endorsement contacts frequently include broad termination clauses for behaviour that might bring the brand into disrepute.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:10 PM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm disgusted by the racism, but I cannot believe that everyone is okay with the fact that a person can be fired for something they say in a private conversation. While having sex, no less. So everyone is okay with watching what they say in their bedrooms just in case their employers ever hear their conversation? Unbelievable.
posted by gt2 at 11:33 PM on July 24, 2015 [15 favorites]


I'm saying that because the article says "unauthorized" sex tape
posted by gt2 at 11:37 PM on July 24, 2015


So we should sit here and be shocked by the fact that a sports entertainment thingy run by rich steroid pigs (McMahon), and which employs steroid pigs (Hulk Hogan) until they burn out or their bodies break down is in turn shocked by racist comments by a guy whose primary nemesis, back in the day, was a Persian which merely inflamed anti-Arab (even though that's not Persian) American racism is making racist comments?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:51 PM on July 24, 2015


And further to Jack Karaoke's very excellent comment, there's this (previously) on Jim Harris, aka Kamala, who was dropped like a hot potato by McMahon and Co:

Wrestling matches may be scripted, but much of the physicality is real. Still, the sting that followed a chair shot from Hulk Hogan or a head-butt from Andre the Giant was nothing compared to the pain Harris felt as he lay in that hospital bed back in the fall of 2011, when diabetes forced doctors to amputate his left leg.

Harris endured the trauma again the following spring, as the disease claimed his right leg, too.

"I'm never going to walk again," Harris says more than two years later. "It's just something I have to accept."

Crammed into an electric wheelchair outside of his home in Senatobia, Mississippi—not far from the fields where he grew up picking cotton—Harris gets emotional as he relives the hell of losing his limbs.

The physical discomfort may be gone, but his new life is a continuous struggle.

Whether it was dealing with the murder of his sister and the loss of his son to AIDS, or fending for himself in a corporate world with a ninth-grade education, Harris has always been defined by his ability to persevere in the face of adversity.

But never has he encountered a challenge as daunting as this.

While former main event opponents such as Hogan and The Undertaker enjoy their lives as millionaires, Harris rifles through the mail each day for his monthly disability check.


So, the rich steroid pigs can go fuck themselves, and anyone who thinks there's anything remotely resembling ethical behaviour on any side of this issue (i.e., Hulk Hogan vs. WWE) is hopelessly naive.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:29 AM on July 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Mod note: A couple of comments deleted. If you feel like reading the transcripts is an invasion of privacy and don't want to do it, that's fine, but please don't ask other people in the thread to relay the contents. This might just be a pass-it-by thread in such an instance.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:44 AM on July 25, 2015


Without getting into the morality of those involved (I mean, a union busting has been snitch, Vince McMahon, Gawker, it's like a cess pool trifecta), Hogan was essentially a spokesperson for WWE. Just liked Subway dropped Jared, or Shamwow ditched their guy, it's his job as a representative of the brand not to make the brand look bad. He failed, they fired him.

One report said they are going back through the network archives and removing Hogan matches and promos. Considering his career long insistence on being involved in every big moment from WWE to WCW, that's a lot of wrestling history being disappeared.

The never meet your heroes rule is a pretty good one, though I'm absolutely certain El Generico would be the exception. Retiring in his prime to take care of that orphanage? True hero, that masked gentleman. Whoever he was.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:05 AM on July 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


If there's one thing you have to respect about the WWE, it's that they definitely understand how to manage their own image.

Also there's something almost charming about the double-barrelled phrase "kayfabe retcon".
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:31 AM on July 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, James Harris (Kamala) has had a rough go of it.
He was cajoled into the Kamala role, reports being paid 1/38th as much as his opponent for SummerSlam 1992, and as mentioned, has had both legs amputated and lives on disability with some side-income.

The pay discrepancy is absurd if true, and makes me wonder/not wonder if there's a whole 'nother level of racism going on, beyond the absurd stereotypes.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 2:27 AM on July 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Comparing him to his opponent is kind of a side issue. Mark William Calaway has probably made more than 38 times the money for the WWE Harris ever did or could have. He is just among the absolute best in the world at this and everybody could see it from the start of his career. Harris was not even close to his level at his best.

Look instead at the billionaire Vince McMahon and all the ruined bodies he has left in his wake. Harris is one among many. Not everybody who performs for him needs to become a millionaire, but I don't think anybody who puts the possible crippling of their body on the line for him should ever have to be sitting by a mailbox hoping a disability check shows up just so they can survive the next week.

If there isn't going to be a union to handle this, the government should.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:55 AM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess it's too bad Duck Dynasty isn't a wrestling show. If it were, maybe it would be erased, too. What does it actually take for the Discovery Empire to cancel a show? Does it have to be Sons of Guns-level child abuse? I notice that the so-called "History" channel re-ran its show "You Don't Know Dixie" last night, which glorifies everything that makes Southern culture and heritage special. Well, everything except the slavery and racism. Coming just days after the lowering of the Stars & Bars in SC, it was kind of jarring.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:17 AM on July 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Credit where credit is due. Hulk Hogan's apology is, in fact, an apology. He admits doing it, he clearly states doing it was wrong, he clearly states that he regrets doing it, and that he is trying to change.

Now, whether you believe that or not, that's your own call, but in the "is that apology or not?" that rates a full "yes, that is an apology without reservation." Credit to either him or his PR person for getting in his face and stopping him from making a non-apology.
posted by eriko at 5:44 AM on July 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


Hulk Hogan apologizes. No weasel words. Can you remember the last time you read a celebrity apology with no weasel words?
posted by bukvich at 6:43 AM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another celebrity turns heel, and the crowd boos on cue. Why don't we throw in a sex tape, too?

America never changes.
posted by swift at 10:02 PM on July 24


Well, a famous moneymaker for a sports entertainment franchise has been fired and is being scrubbed from their archives for saying racist things. That seems like a pretty big (positive) change for America.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:03 AM on July 25, 2015


This is why nobody ever wrote Scenes from My Imaginary Friendship with Hulk Hogan.
posted by echocollate at 7:14 AM on July 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm having trouble finding the part of that apology where he apologizes to his daughter.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:31 AM on July 25, 2015


I heard Hogan was a jabroni. Very reputable source.

#TeamSheikie
posted by theorique at 7:46 AM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm disgusted by the racism, but I cannot believe that everyone is okay with the fact that a person can be fired for something they say in a private conversation.

It seems to be an emergent thing during the past 10-20 - the cases of Paula Deen and Don Imus show that no (white) person is too big to be taken down for a single instance of racism in their past (sometimes their distant past).
posted by theorique at 7:50 AM on July 25, 2015


Hulk Hogan apologizes. No weasel words. Can you remember the last time you read a celebrity apology with no weasel words?

Frankly, a good, earnest apology is a decent argument for welcoming him back.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:03 AM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm having trouble finding the part of that apology where he apologizes to his daughter.

He owes her an apology. He doesn't owe us his apology to her.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:08 AM on July 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Seriously, he doesn't need to call up People magazine for that. This happened eight years ago, I assume they already talked.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:06 AM on July 25, 2015


"You're lucky it wasn't a black guy." *stops dead*

I'm trying to understand why in your opinion your father would have been "lucky" that you weren't dating a black man. I'm also trying to understand why five people upvoted this.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:53 AM on July 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I read it as intentionally targeting the father's racism to needle him, not holding the same view.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:09 AM on July 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


favorites ≠ upvotes. Often, yes.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:28 AM on July 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


#NotAllFavorites
posted by Going To Maine at 11:29 AM on July 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


He owes her an apology. He doesn't owe us his apology to her.

Well considering that all this wash has been hung out, I think he owes us an assurance that he has also addressed this toxic attitude that he owns his daughter and has a right to use his wealth to meddle in her love life. Because that's a completely separate thing and just as bad as the racism as far as I am concerned.
posted by Bringer Tom at 11:35 AM on July 25, 2015


Can you remember the last time you read a celebrity apology with no weasel words?

Taylor Swift, like two days ago?

As for his daughter: one would hope that he apologizes to her in private, but I'm okay with not being part of that conversation. None of us really should have been a part of the conversation that started all this, either.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:37 AM on July 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


would have been "lucky" that you weren't dating a black man.

In British English, we often use the phrase "you're lucky that x" as a translation for "this situation could potentially have been even worse for you".

Often used as an ironic/humorous reflection when someone complains about an undesirable event.

"Oh dear, I was rear-ended by a Skoda today."

"Lucky it wasn't a bus."

If you're concerned that I wasn't using that particular moment to try and educate my dad about race relations, you should read a transcript of our arguments over the last 15 years.
posted by The Zeroth Law at 11:57 AM on July 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


It seems to be an emergent thing during the past 10-20 - the cases of Paula Deen and Don Imus show that no (white) person is too big to be taken down for a single instance of racism in their past (sometimes their distant past).

"Settlement for $40 million dollars from the company that fired him, all suits ended from the women he defamed", Don Imus? "Still gets endorsements and her cooking book sales soared" Paula Deen?

Hogan lost his place as a representative of wrestling because while he was representing himself as a Born Again Christian he was also literally an unrepentant racist who claimed everyone else was "a little bit" racist too. I'm glad he learned better after people pointed out this was a bad thing and made an apology to that effect, but by and large there are enough racists in the US alone to continue to support all of these poor "taken down" white people, though he might lose their support for actually not wanting to be racist anymore.

Personally, I'm glad there's actually a point where being racist bites white people in the ass. Until very recently, a white person could say and do all kinds of racist things, give a mealy-mouthed apology, and everyone would go, "See, she learned her lesson! Hugsies! Forgiveskies!" and then she could go back to doing exactly the same stuff until caught again. Earlier than that, there wouldn't even be the expectation of an apology. Now, every now and then, someone white and rich faces consequences for saying and doing really racist shit because being associated with really racist shit is finally starting to be something that a majority of people think is a bad thing (while a large minority still reward it).

It's not nothing, but it's damn close.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:18 PM on July 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


"Think yourself lucky I haven't done X (where X is a thing you would like even less)" is the British equivalent of Darth Vader's "Pray I do not alter it any further".
posted by tinkletown at 2:20 PM on July 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Won't someone think of Curtis Axel?
posted by kimberussell at 2:40 PM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


In British English, we often use the phrase "you're lucky that x" as a translation for "this situation could potentially have been even worse for you".


Also true of American English. You said nothing wrong.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:44 PM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Black = worse, you understand
posted by deathmaven at 3:17 PM on July 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sorry about that, it's just that no one wants to hear about their very existence being brandished as a weapon to your dad, especially in the context of this post.
posted by deathmaven at 3:27 PM on July 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Black = worse, you understand

To the racist, this would appear true. I do understand how the usage would be something a person of color would not be comfortable hearing, so my "said nothing wrong" is an overstatement. I apologize. I am fortunate not to be faced with the situation described. Maybe someone more aware than me could suggest an alternative response to the racist dad.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:08 PM on July 25, 2015


Well, a famous moneymaker for a sports entertainment franchise has been fired and is being scrubbed from their archives for saying racist things. That seems like a pretty big (positive) change for America.

That whole "scrubbed from the archives" thing seems a bit Orwellian. I wonder if they scrubbed Chris Benoit after he murdered his family? Apparently not.
posted by MikeMc at 4:15 PM on July 25, 2015


I couldn't imagine being Hulk Hogan.

You have to end every sentence with the word Brother, even if you're not talking to your brother
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:18 PM on July 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm disgusted by the racism, but I cannot believe that everyone is okay with the fact that a person can be fired for something they say in a private conversation. While having sex, no less. So everyone is okay with watching what they say in their bedrooms just in case their employers ever hear their conversation? Unbelievable.

That's a disingenuous way of describing what's going on. However ethical the methods of it becoming so, the rant is now public knowledge. They can't pretend that it's not and anything they do after it became so is their response to it. Also I'm pretty sure we've all watched what we said and worried about the reprecussons of something a comment we've made getting passed on to the wrong person since conversation was developed so what ideal are we supposed to be measuring this against? "I heard you said something that I find untenable to so and so but since it was a private conversation I'm not going to act on finding out it in any way". Is that really what's going on somewhere?
posted by deathmaven at 4:59 PM on July 25, 2015 [2 favorites]



It seems to be an emergent thing during the past 10-20 - the cases of Paula Deen and Don Imus show that no (white) person is too big to be taken down for a single instance of racism in their past (sometimes their distant past).


The fact that the statement was racist is secondary to the fact that it was a horrible thing that no business would want to be associated with. If he were caught on audio rabidly wishing death to the Pope, or videotaped munching on his own feces, or mockingly browbeating his maid, any one of those things could mean trouble for a product endorsement deal or for any type of business arrangement that relies on having a certain type of public reputation. Fame and publicity are double edged swords, and have always been.

On preview, what deathmaven just said.
posted by xigxag at 5:18 PM on July 25, 2015


The Company wants people who want what's best for The Company--take a look at the cover of the (first edition of the) 'WWE Encyclopedia'--you won't see Hogan. With a couple arguable exceptions, these aren't exactly the biggest stars, but the biggest of a certain kind of star--company men. As I've said here before, Hogan wanted to be bigger than the business, and Vince never forgave him for that.

(As I've also said here before, one of the great successes of the modern WWE is their revised attitude toward people like Dwayne Johnson and Brock Lesnar's extracurricular activities. I credit the McMahon kids and/or Triple H.)
posted by box at 5:45 PM on July 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


WWE did right to can Hulk Hogan, but the UnPerson treatment makes me think of Stalin. People airbrushed out of official photographs.
Does anyone else find this odd?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:04 PM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else find this odd?

Me. I get the dumping of Hogan to minimize damage to the brand but do Vince & Co. really think that people are suddenly going to forget Hogan was ever associated with WWF/E? As I posted above WWE apparently still shows Chris Benoit videos even though he murdered his wife and son. Of course Lex Lugar hasn't been scrubbed despite being a pill-head woman beater. I've never been a Hulk Hogan fan but the WWE folks are just hypocritical douchebags.
posted by MikeMc at 6:22 PM on July 25, 2015


That whole "scrubbed from the archives" thing seems a bit Orwellian. I wonder if they scrubbed Chris Benoit after he murdered his family? Apparently not.

Hogan's matches are still available on the Network. He was scrubbed from the website, not from the archives.
posted by Etrigan at 7:45 PM on July 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


deathmaven, I guess that you are prepared to watch every word you say in your home and you must be pretty sure that you will never inadvertently slip and say something politically incorrect or offensive or ugly or say something in anger that you don't really mean. That someone may be secretly recording. The United States is supposed to be a free country and we are supposed to be entitled to free speech. As ugly and ignorant as racism is, he is supposed to have the right to be an ugly human being. If he can be fired for something he said in his bedroom, all of us can.
posted by gt2 at 9:47 PM on July 25, 2015


They didn't scrub his content, they just put it in the Disney vault. They'll cash in on it later.
posted by furtive at 10:27 PM on July 25, 2015


So does this mean that Gawker sat on the only actually newsworthy portion of the sex tape when they published, or did the Clems withhold the racist stuff until compelled by the court to produce it?
posted by Scram at 11:47 PM on July 25, 2015


The United States is supposed to be a free country and we are supposed to be entitled to free speech. As ugly and ignorant as racism is, he is supposed to have the right to be an ugly human being.

"Freedom" is not the same thing as "without consequences".
posted by Etrigan at 3:23 AM on July 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


They did scrub Chris Benoit. They can't mention him, you can't fast-forward to the start of his matches, and there are no Benoit video packages. The haven't digitally erased him from within his matches, but they have erased every ability to figure out what those matches are.

This erasure of a wrestler's existence has only ever been done before to Benoit, not to the objects of the other petty disputes the McMahons have started over the years. Usually they just keep people out of the Hall of Fame...
posted by goneill at 5:02 AM on July 26, 2015




Hulk Machine.
posted by box at 8:30 AM on July 26, 2015




Me. I get the dumping of Hogan to minimize damage to the brand but do Vince & Co. really think that people are suddenly going to forget Hogan was ever associated with WWF/E?

As someone who watched alot of WWF as a little kid, but who's now just a cynical, casual adult observer every time something like this hits the news, I have to wonder if there was some other business/money problem that this is somehow conveniently fixing.

If you've never seen it, I strongly recommend Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows, viewable for free here.

I have to imagine that the level of access the filmmaker had to the then-WWF wouldn't happen these days:

“I said to the camera crew, ‘I want you to film my last match in Canada next week,’” said Hart. “So they scrambled to see if their passes from WWE were still effective – and it turned out they were good for the whole year. So that whole camera crew shows up through the back door with me at the Survivor Series, and it totally caught Vince off-guard. He didn’t know they were still shooting or that they’d even be there.”
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:04 PM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


As someone who watched alot of WWF as a little kid, but who's now just a cynical, casual adult observer every time something like this hits the news, I have to wonder if there was some other business/money problem that this is somehow conveniently fixing.

Hogan has been basically one misstep from being fired since he left the WWF for WCW in the '90s. He made enough money for the McMahons that they were willing to let him back into the fold, but there has been zero loyalty or goodwill either way. Contrast this to the Rock, who can come back any time he wants just for the hell of it, or Undertaker, who will have a job with WWE for the rest of his (un)life.

The only business/money problem was that this threatened the money, so he had to go.
posted by Etrigan at 2:11 PM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Brooke Hogan has penned a long poem in defense of her father Hulk Hogan after the wrestler was suddenly fired by WWE over some admittedly racist comments he made in 2006. In the Facebook post titled "If You Knew My Father," Brooke Hogan asks for forgiveness for her father, writing "Human isn't perfect, and perfect is not he, but I can tell you one thing, it's just not what it seems."
posted by Drinky Die at 2:22 PM on July 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


The United States is supposed to be a free country and we are supposed to be entitled to free speech.

Free speech, yes. No one is locking up Hogan for being racist. Freedom from consequences, no.

Saying racist things should have consequences. He outright said he was racist in the quotes, and justified it by saying everyone is "a little bit" so that makes it ok. On Avenue Q and in the minds of people who respond, "Eh, whachu gonna do! Systematic bias is systematic bias and trying to change it is just wrong!" it might seem ok, but thankfully, out here in shared reality racism is actually starting to have consequences for white people beyond the odd side-eye and a few people not imviting you to parties.

If you're worried about consequences for saying racist things you can push back and say everyone should be allowed to be racist and you're standing behind this as a proudly racist person. That would be showing integrity. So would be saying, "Opps, looks like racism has consequences toward me, too. Maybe I should not say racist things." This mealy mouthed "People should be able to say racist things and not be called racist or face any consequences" bullshit is getting old, though.

We live in a world where people have been dying in droves unacknowledged for centuries because of racism. Losing a job is minor in comparison.
posted by Deoridhe at 2:40 PM on July 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Are we at the boiling point yet?

Straight up boilin'.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 5:20 AM on July 27, 2015


Thanks, Obama?
posted by peeedro at 9:20 AM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Argh. Stop digging, brother.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:26 AM on July 27, 2015


According to a joint investigation by the National Enquirer and Radar Online, Hogan’s racist comments about the Rock and black wrestlers were captured on a sex tape...
Wait, is there more? None of what's been released so far says anything about the Rock or black wrestlers.
posted by Etrigan at 9:27 AM on July 27, 2015


Rembert Browne knocks it out of the park:
to hogan's credit, he gave us like 20 years to figure out "brother" was just the radio edit
posted by Etrigan at 9:29 AM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


We live in a world where people have been dying in droves unacknowledged for centuries because of racism. Losing a job is minor in comparison.

When it's other people's death compared to your job, it doesn't feel so minor.
(Compare to the Mel Brooks quote: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.")

People generally don't want to be racist, but, more importantly, they don't want to be perceived as racist, regardless of what prejudices or bigotries they actually hold.
posted by theorique at 12:23 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


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