I've seen everywhere that the WWE is scrubbing Hulk Hogan. What's going on? Did Andre the Giant really just trip? What are they scrubbing him from?
Anything that could bring in money off of Hogan's name for either the WWE or TNA. This doesn't include old matches on the WWE network.
WWE Tough Enough
It was announced on Tough Enough last night that The Miz will be replacing Hogan as a judge.
WWE Australia Tour
Sean Michaels will be replacing Hulk Hogan as the special General Manager.
WWE has removed both the "Hulk Hogan Rock 'n' Wrestling" cartoon and the Hulk Hogan edition of "Beyond the Ring" from the WWE Network (via WrestleZone).
Hogan will not appear in WWE2K16. A 2K Sports representative told Polygon: "We are highly respectful of the way that our partners choose to run their business and manage our partnerships accordingly," the spokesperson said. "We can confirm that Hulk Hogan will not appear in WWE 2K16."
Licensee and Partners in General
According to Mike Johnson on PWInsider: "WWE informed just about every licensee and partner that they work with that all references to Hulk Hogan, all images of Hogan and all current and planned licensing projects that might involve Hulk Hogan products should be dropped immediately. I have heard that from action figures to streaming music, anything Hulk Hogan-related under WWE's umbrella has been terminated and/or in the process of being pulled down."
Mattel wrote on Twitter that they will be halting production on all Hulk Hogan products as well.
@mmoorewriter We are committed to embracing people from all cultures & backgrounds. At this time, we will halt production on Hogan product.— Mattel (@Mattel) July 28, 2015
The Mega Powers Curtis
Axel and Damien Sandow have dropped The Mega Powers gimmick:
TNA removed Hogan from their Alumni roster and pulled Hogan's merchandize from the website (via WrestlingInc).
So, why is the WWE doing all of this?
So, here's what happened. In 2012, Gawker published a super-cut of Hulk Hogan's 2006 sex tape with Heather Clem, wife of Hogan's friend Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem. Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker over publishing the 1-minute super-cut clip. Since this is all in court, someone had to transcribe the audio from the entire Hogan sex tape (yea, and you thought your job sucked), which included a super-racist tirade. And someone sold the transcripts to the National Enquirer, who verified the story with five independent sources, and then broke the news.
Was what Hogan said really that bad?
Are you sure it wasn't his words being twisted or a misinterpretation?
Yea…when you say you're racist in your racist rant, it's really hard to claim you didn't mean to be racist. Just saying.
OK, seriously. What did Hogan say?
- "I guess we're all a little racist."
- "She is making some real bad decisions now. My daughter Brooke jumped sides on me. I spent $2-3 million on her music career, I've done everything like a jackass for her."
- "The one option Brooke had, Brooke's career besides me, is [to] sell beach records."
- "I don't know if Brooke was f****** the black guy's son."
- "I mean, I don't have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f****** n******. But then when it comes to nice people and s***, and whatever."
- "I mean, I'd rather if she was going to f*** some n*****, I'd rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n***** worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!
- "I guess we're all a little racist. F****** n*****."
Yea, there's a lot to unpack with this one, but we're going to pull a Michael Bluth and power through.
Well, looks like Hogan isn't going to be winning a "Father of the Year" award like Titus O'Neill anytime soon.
Ya think? Not only was Hogan clearly judging a person on the color of their skin and not the content of their character (did you see anything about how the guy was treating Brooke? Or any negative qualities listed aside from his race? Hell, Hogan even said he wasn't sure if Brooke was actually sleeping with said black guy or not. And then, he goes on to say not that Brooke should be with someone she loves who respects her and makes her happy, but with someone with money. Like, holy s***. I truly feel bad for Brooke.
Ok, obviously using the n-word 4 times in 3 sentences is overkill (personally, I'd say using it once in 3 sentences is overkill, but that's just me), but what's the big deal anyway? It's just a word.
The big deal is that the United States literally had a civil war over the idea of "hey, maybe we should consider black people to be you know, people, as opposed to considering property" under the heading of "states' rights" (states' rights as in "states right to treat black people as property and not people).
After the war, black people did win the right to be considered people, but the losing states did everything they could to keep black people as second class citizens through segregation and Jim Crow laws, again under the heading of "state's rights" (states' rights as in "states' rights to treat black people as second class citizens). And that lasted until the 1960s, when segregation ended.
But, once again the losing states STILL tried to do everything they could to keep black people as second class citizens (states' rights as in "states' rights to disenfranchise black people from voting and to disproportionately incarcerate them), and that's where we are now.
(You can see the same thing playing out with the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. There are some states who are claiming "states' rights" as in "states' rights to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation" and who are either refusing to issue marriage licenses or looking for any and every legal loophole they can find to keep discrimination based on sexual orientation a thing.)
In other words: it's not so much the word itself that's such a powder keg, so much as what the word represents: black people as being kept as second class citizens with fewer rights than white people.
Wait - there's more!
The Hogan tape transcript also included Hogan using the other f-word to discuss an idea VH1 had for "Hogan Knows Best:"
"VH1 wanted me to do a big thing and go back to the house I grew up in. So we knock on the door, and a big f***** lives there now!" Hogan added, "This half-gay was enamored with Linda (Hogan's then-wife)."
The audio transcript also included a long rant against Hogan's then-wife, which I couldn't find a quote of, but whatever it was, it probably wasn't something he should be saying while filming a sex tape with someone who wasn't his wife at the time.
Wait - there's still more!
In May of 2008, the Pinellas County Sheriffs Department released two weeks worth of recorded phone calls from the jail in which Hogan's son was serving time. That audio included a conversation Hulk Hogan was having with his son, Nick regarding a jail transfer:
- Hogan: "You know that God gave you this vibe and this, this, energy that you and I are going to live forever, bro. I just hope we don't come back as a couple, I don't want to say it, blizz-ack gizz-uys, you know what I'm saying?"
- Nick: "Brutal."
- Both laugh.
- Nick: "It's down in St. Pete and it's mixed-race and we get along with everybody, so that's fine,"
- Hogan: "Your mom went there and said it was mainly blizz, you know what I'm sizz-aying?"
- Nick: "Mm-hm."
- Hogan: "And that some of the ladies there that, you know, run the school are nice blizz lizz-adies, you know?"
- Nick: "Mm-hm…. I would go down there, I would make friends with all those kids down there. I guarantee it. Because you know how all the blizz pizz love us."
Is there more to come?
National Enquired teased that there was more to come, and according to WrestleZone, Gawker CEO Nick Denton "stated the Hogan lawsuit would feature, 'a third act which we believe will center on the real story: the additional recordings held by the FBI, the information in them that is Hulk Hogan's real secret, and irregularities in the recordings which indicate some sort of cover-up. In the way of so many news stories, the deeper you go, the more interesting it gets.'" So, we'll have to see what happens.
What about when Booker T used the n-word on camera? Isn't this a bit hypocritical on the WWE's part?
I feel like Mike Johnson of PWInsider did such a good job explaining this one, I'm just going to quote him:
"To me, the difference is that what Hogan said was Terry Bollea the person using hateful remarks that have no business being spoken or used in 2015 in real life while Mr. McMahon and Booker T were characters doing something that was obviously produced to be comedy and satire as part of a WWE storyline.
The latter might have been in bad taste (and let's face it, it was) but it was done to make someone laugh. What Hogan said and did came from an evil, hurtful place and was real life, not something designed to be satirical or silly on a TV broadcast. What WWE did was similar to what "South Park" would do. What Hogan said was similar to things said by Donald Sterling. There is a huge difference there."
What about the privacy issue? Like, obviously it's racist, but it wasn't a public comment. It was someone he did in the privacy of his own home.
Well, yea. It was done in the privacy of his own home. However, once Hogan decided to sue Gawker, that tape became a matter of public record in the courts. If Hogan wanted what was in the tape to stay private, he probably shouldn't have sued Gawker for publishing – literally – a one-minute supercut.
Well, couldn't they have started with like some sort of sensitivity class training or something? Did the WWE have to go THAT far?
Ok, first off, go re-read what Hogan said again. He followed up a statement saying "I guess we're all a little racist" with "F****** n******." It's REALLY hard to defend that.
Second off, it's not like Hogan didn't know what was on this tape. The tape was filmed in 2006 and Hogan has a current lawsuit involving the tape with Gawker – and Hogan's lawyers were marking "nearly every court document confidential."
That tells me two things: First off, Hogan knew how bad it would be if this got out and that's why his lawyers are being so thorough in marking everything confidential. Second off, if Hogan truly felt bad about this (and again, knew that this tape existed), he would have been proactive – he already would have undergone a public sensitivity class or would have been doing work with some nonprofit that helps inner city children who can't read good and want to learn how to do other stuff good too or something. But Hogan didn't do that. Hogan just tried to hide it, waited until it all go out, and THEN issued an apology.
Additionally, in 2014, a Florida restaurant Hogan licensed his name to (Hogan's Beach) got a lot of heat for a dress code that could be construed as racist: "No Excessively Baggy Attire. No Low hanging pants or shorts. No hats, caps, or visors worn sideways. No Do-Rags, Skull Caps or Bandanas. No Oversized or Excessive Jewelry." They ended up taking the dress code down. And for what it's worth, according to Florida State of Secretary documents, Hogan didn't just license his name to the restaurant; he's the owner.
Plus, Hogan thought it was a good idea to retweet a fan who said this (via WrestleNewsz):
So yea, I don't think sensitivity training is an option for this one. Not to mention – the WWE is a business. The WWE isn't scrubbing Hogan from history – they're scrubbing Hogan from anything that the WWE can make a buck off his name. The WWE does not want to be boycotted and the only way to avoid a boycott is to make sure there's no reason to boycott; i.e. by not making any money off Hogan's name.
Yea, but you're white. Can you at least have someone who's black weigh in? I'd feel more comfortable if you had someone who was actually black weigh in.
Sure thing. I checked in with a friend of mine who is both a.) a wrestling fan and b.) black. Here's what he had to say: "I can't think of anything at the moment. I've never like Hogan so it'd be biased anyway."
Did Hulk Hogan at least release some sort of apology statement or something?
Yes! Actually, he did! Hulk Hogan released a statement to People magazine: "Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it." "This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs, or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs." Hogan also tweeted out a thank you to all of his friends and business partners and whatnot:
Thank you to all my friends,family and business partners for all your love and support,you guys know who I really am and I love u 4 that. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 25, 2015
What's WWE's official position?
WWE terminated their contract with Hulk Hogan.
They didn't even include a photo. pic.twitter.com/cy25UDTGOI— Richard Gray (@wnwdotcom) July 24, 2015
Ok, so this wouldn't be a story about Hulk Hogan if Hulk Hogan didn't have his own version contradicting that. *sigh* What's Hulk Hogan's official version?
According to Hulk Hogan's lawyer, David Houston, Hulk Hogan wasn't fired by the WWE.
Houston told PEOPLE magazine, "He decided to resign from WWE because he didn't want to put his family through this."
David Houston also told Fox 411: "I have my suspicions, as you can imagine." "If I can find out it is Gawker who leaked the transcripts, we will bury them."
However, Gawker President and General Counsel Dietrick responded to Houston's accusations in a statement to Fox 411 saying: "Hulk Hogan has only one person to blame for what he said and no one from Gawker had any role in leaking that information."
Hogan has since filed new court documents that and "in the docs, he asks a judge to launch a full-blown investigation into Denton and former Gawker exec A.J. Daulerio to prove they leaked confidential details from the sex tape video." In the documents, Hogan has said that if the investigation confirms his suspicions, he would the judge to automatically declare him the winner in his lawsuit AND have anyone involved with leaking the story jailed.
How's this affecting WWE stock prices?
According to Forbes, shares of WWE stock on Friday dropped almost 4%, to $16.60, costing shareholders around $50 million. While the stock market fell 163 points overall on Friday, MSG (who carries the NBA's New York Knicks and the NHL's New York Rangers, only dropped 1%, so at least some of the WWE drop had to do with the WWE severing ties to Hogan.
As an interesting side note, according to PWTorch:
"WWE filed ten SEC filings on Wednesday for the insider transactions that took place on Tuesday (July 21):
- Michelle Wilson, the Chief Marketing Officer, sold 16,359 shares of Common A WWE Stock at $16.89 for about a quarter-million-dollars in gross proceeds. Wilson has 83,489 shares remaining.
- Michael Luisi, the president of WWE Studios, sold 14,991 shares at $16.89 per share for a quarter-million-dollar haul. Luisi has 78,001 shares remaining.
- Kevin Dunn, the Executive TV Producer, sold 20,628 shares at $16.89 for gross proceeds of about $350,000. Dunn still owns 212,234 shares of Class A common stock. If valued at $16.89, that translates to $3.5 million worth of remaining shares.
- George Barrios, the chief financial officer, sold 16,359 shares at $16.89 for gross proceeds of about a quarter-million-dollars. Barrios still owns 216,903 shares. Lke Dunn, that translates to about $3.6 million at the current value.
- Stephanie McMahon, the Brand Officer and Board member, sold 1,483 shares at $16.89 for gross proceeds of about $25,000. WWE listed Stephanie as still owning 63,527 shares, which includes the following footnote: "Mrs. Levesque may also be deemed to be the indirect beneficial owner of shares of WWE common stock that are directly owned by her husband, Paul Levesque. Mrs. Levesque disclaims beneficial ownership of those shares."
- Triple H, the Executive VP for Talent & Live Events & Creative and board member, also sold 1,483 shares at $16.89 for the same proceeds of about $25,000. Hunter owns 62,346 shares after the transaction. WWE included the following footnote: "Mr. Levesque may also be deemed to be the indirect beneficial owner of shares of WWE common stock that are directly owned by his wife, Stephanie Levesque. Mr. Levesque disclaims beneficial ownership of those shares."
- Mark Kowal, the Corporate Controller in the Accounting department, sold 2,568 shares at $16.89 for about $43,000 in gross proceeds. Kowal now owns 18,924 shares.
- Gerrit Meier, the Executive VP for International business, sold 2,009 shares at $16.89 for about $34,000 in gross proceeds. Meier now owns 24,551 shares.
- Casey Collins, the Executive VP for Consumer Products, sold 2,655 shares at $16.89 for gross proceeds of about $45,000. Collins still owns 21,004 shares.
- Basil DeVito, the Senior Advisor for Business Strategies, sold 4,027 shares at $16.89 for gross proceeds of about $68,000. DeVito still owns 77,206 shares."
What about other people whose opinion I might care about? What do they think?
So, in addition to being obviously horrified, though not necessarily surprised, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the irony of the entire reason the audio of this racist rant came out is because Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker for ruining his reputation by publishing one minute of his sex tape. No. Not you. I said people whose opinion I might care about.
Hey @HulkHogan when the going gets tough you could always make a sex ta- ...oh wait... pic.twitter.com/u6lbdupxj5— Brazzers (@Brazzers) July 24, 2015
I mean we can offer you to do another sex tape if you need money brother but the last one was just sad @HulkHogan - ZZ— Brazzers (@Brazzers) July 24, 2015
Appropriate a culture, pilfer from its dialect, profit wildly from it, and regard its people as subhuman. Makes sense...— Epsilon (@WWEBigE) July 24, 2015
I'm not 8 feet tall, tho... pic.twitter.com/0NUzmwehje— Epsilon (@WWEBigE) July 24, 2015
Eric Bischoff was on Under the Mat and had this to say:
"Well, first of all, I think WWE handled it the only way they could. In the entertainment business, especially when you're a publicly held company, you have to be sensitive not only to your audience, but you have to be sensitive to your advertisers. You have to be sensitive to your business partners. You have to be sensitive and respectful of so many different people within the business of the entertainment business that you have to be responsible and you have to take responsible action, and I think that's exactly what WWE did. I don't see how they possibly could have kept Hulk in the position that Hulk was in as a quote-unquote ambassador of their company with the kind of horrible publicity that is surrounding him now and will like surround him for quite awhile given everything that is going on."
20 years ago I made a huge mistake by saying something I shouldn't have on National TV.— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) July 24, 2015
It's 2015 and the n-word should be eradicated from the English language in my opinion.— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) July 24, 2015
I am shocked by the statements made by Hulk Hogan. It's unfortunate, but that's something that he's going to have to deal with.— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) July 24, 2015
Waiting patiently for a Hogan/Cosby meme to further shatter all our memories and innocence from the 80's.— Coach (@CMPunk) July 24, 2015
"I've never seen that side of him and it's crazy, all this stuff. The first time I heard about it was an interview about 20 minutes ago, because I've been doing book-signing stuff like all day." "I got back to my hotel room at about 10-or-11-o'clock last night, and I woke up this morning just in time to start doing phoners. Everyone is like, 'Hey! What do you think about this thing with Hulk Hogan?' I'm like, 'Wait, what thing? What are you talking about?' I had no idea. So, yeah, not in any of my dealings with him."
George Foreman of Foreman Grill Fame
George Foreman told TMZ Sports: "I have known Hulk Hogan for well over 20 years. I do not condone the language he used, but he is no racist, he is a good guy." And instead of distancing himself from Hogan -- on the heels of the n-word scandal -- the ex champ went out of his way to verbally embrace him. Foreman added, "He is a friend of mine. We have hung out together and we have even been in the ring together. I consider him a friend." Mick Foley
My heart truly hurts for @HulkHogan. I firmly believe he's a very good person who made a very bad mistake. Pulling for you, brother!— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) July 24, 2015
Adam Goldstein, a former WWE Creative Writer, wrote a long post, over on PWMania.
MY TAKE-It's NEVER appropriate the use the N word now..In any context. It's probably the most offensive word in the current English lexicon.— Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) July 24, 2015
WHO WANT TO SEE THE LEGEND REPLACE THE HIWDY DOODY HULK HOGAN IN THE @WWEToughEnough GIVE ME HELL YEAH— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 24, 2015
HULK HOGAN WHAT THE FUCK YOU TALK ABOUT MY BLACK BROTHER?????— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 24, 2015
Truth be told, I'm not shocked. I'm sure there are many icons that would disgust you for a number of reasons if you knew their secrets.— MVP (@The305MVP) July 24, 2015
G1 Climax > Hulk Hogan— MVP (@The305MVP) July 24, 2015
Anyone have Brooks number?— MVP (@The305MVP) July 24, 2015
Hulk Hogan has one persona publicly and a completely different one privately. He is definitely a Real American.— Jim Norton (@JimNorton) July 24, 2015
@HulkHogan is a real America & far from a racist.Trying 2smear his name is embarrassing.We stand behind U #HulkHogan pic.twitter.com/27ffUtDSDy— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) July 24, 2015
What ever happened to"Sticks & stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?" Ppl need to relax. #HulkHogan is a good man.— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) July 24, 2015
Roddy Piper was on Rich Eilsen's DirecTV Audience Network talk show on Friday. He said, "With Hulkster, I don't agree with all his choices, you know what, I don't hear people saying all the great things he does. When he was on the Wheaties' Box, all those kids that said their prayers and took their vitamins. I don't hear them saying that. They just want to nail this." "I think everybody needs to get a life. I don't think that anybody should try to hurt your feelings for no reason."
New meme featuring me, now replacing Hogan. I can only hope I get his royalty checks. https://t.co/qp3TrUz2Vv— Stevie Richards (@bWoStevie) July 24, 2015
Jim Ross wrote a blog post on the topic. "Biggest news story of the day is the Hulk Hogan racist remarks controversy. I'm not sure what I'm expected to say about this sad and unfortunate matter except that there is obviously no place in our world for racism or racist banter. Hulk made a grievous error in judgment, a major mistake, that he will have to live with this rest of his days. One can only hope that every one who this matter touches can learn from it and move forward in a positive manner. The WWE acted quickly and decisively in this matter to which they are to be commended." You can read the full post here.
Hogan n Donald Sterling need to play Russian roulette with all the bullets in the chambers— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) July 25, 2015
...it's 2015 the world's a better place without their racism n ignorance— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) July 25, 2015
now does everybody believe me that hogan is a piece of sh*t...will comment more later...traveling #Karma pic.twitter.com/Ee2VshVfKj— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) July 24, 2015
Didn't take long b4 hogan tried to throw Vince under the bus— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) July 26, 2015
Between the jail house tapes n hogan 's racist rant everybody is seeing the real hogan— Big Poppa Pump (@ScottSteiner) July 26, 2015
On the latest edition of "The Human Podcast Machine," Taz had this to say:
"I just think Hulk Hogan's done, done. Sad way to go out – sad way to go down. I just think the whole situation sucks and there is a part of me that wants to keep saying I feel bad for Hulk, but how do you feel bad? I mean, he said this. You can hear it on tape. It's like, how do you feel bad for the guy? You can't! He said it. It was years ago and he [has] changed, I guess, and whatever, but it doesn't matter. It's reprehensible comments and it's just not cool."
Virgil told TMZ sports that "he was saddened Friday morning when he read about Hogan saddened Friday morning when he read about Hogan's N-word rant on a sex tape, and says he doesn't condone racism or racist behavior one bit." Virgil also said, "You can only judge a person based on past experience. Hulk Hogan has never given me a reason to believe he is a racist."
What about Dennis Rodman? He went to North Korea, so I like to use him as a barometer of "What's the opinion I shouldn't have?"
I've known @HulkHogan for 25 years. Here he is hanging with Kylin in NJ. There isn't a racist bone in that mans body. http://t.co/QnT9rmrpVe— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) July 24, 2015
Lets lend our support to the Hulkster @HulkHogan who most certainly is not a racist @Scottiepippen @MagicJohnson @Shaq @MikeTyson— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) July 24, 2015
@realDonaldTrump has been a great friend for many years. We don't need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) July 24, 2015
Good call. Yes, we can.