Hulk Hogan is a racist.
Yes, shockingly, a 61-year-old man from Southern Florida is a racist, saying racist things as he discussed his daughter’s career and failing marriage while fucking his best friend’s wife on video while said friend watched because he liked being cuckolded.
There’s also the matter of erased material in the tapes that was hidden from the FBI during the investigation, stuff so damaging that Nick Denton, the head of Gawker, said that “There will be 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 records which indicate some sort of cover-up.”
But if you’re a wrestling fan – I should say if you’re the kind of fan who reads this site beyond just being a wrestling fan – you’re not surprised.
I mean, stories for years have circulated about wrestlers like Dick Murdoch being in the KKK. And with a name like Killer Karl Krupp, sure, you can assume some things. After all, this is the industry that gave us Kamala (and Kimala), Saba Simba, Ole Anderson calling Sonny King “boy,” Junkyard Dog not being booked by Louisiana promoters no matter how much money he could make for them and so many more instances.
Want more? Sure. Just watch any Jesse Ventura promo on Tito Santana. Or Roddy Piper calling Mr. T’s fans’ monkeys. Virgil’s whole career. Wrestling itself is based on stereotypes and archetypes and playing those stereotypes against one another, using what we know of those stereotypes to get heat and draw money.
It doesn’t make it right.
The war against Japan ended in 1945, but Japanese heels were still called Mr. and threw salt way into the 1990s. Nazi heels kept wrestling until the 1970s and then turned face. Some of them even had kids who became huge babyfaces. White heels made fun of Mexican fans calling them wetbacks and border jumpers as recently as, well, probably yesterday.
Vince McMahon used the “n” word, too.
These are all defenses that I’ve seen.
But it doesn’t make it right.
The difference: all of these people (well, Murdoch withstanding) were playing characters. Again, it doesn’t make it right. But it was within the context of the strange reality unreality passion play that is wrestling.
I’m not blameless. My first wrestling character was Masahiro Panic, a kid who turned his back on America because he loved Japan so much more. I was told to change this gimmick by a well-known trainer and promoter because, “No one is gonna believe a fat wop like you is Japanese.”
The first show I wrestled on in Japan, I was a heel and the poster for the first show was a giant mushroom cloud with my face over it.
That certainly wasn’t right. Then again, I wasn’t wrestling for the Yakuza and in no position to complain or demand a switch. I could barely speak the language.
Anyways, we got off track. We’re here to talk about Hulk Hogan. Not Terry Bollea, because that person is gone. Hulk has been Hulk for years. This is the same guy who claimed that Elvis used to watch his matches in Memphis, despite the fact that Hogan wrestled there in 1979 and Elvis died (allegedly) in 1977. That he turned down a contract to be in the first UFC, that he was offered the bass position in Metallica, that he missed the Foreman Grill contract by a phone call…
And it’s also the guy that was booked on Arsenio Hall to tell the world he did use steroids and lied, saying he only used them once.
And it’s also the guy who called his son in jail and talked about how they could spin this into something to make money. (And yes, again, I am not blameless, as I have listened to this call so many times I can recite it word for word.) Who said his son’s friend probably deserved to get hurt, to get part of his head cut out and be a near vegetable for life because he made some bad choices, brother.
And it’s also the guy who was fucking his best friend’s wife while his best friend probably was one hand watching and took a break to talk about some really racist – at worst – and ill-advised – at best – things.
As I read Facebook, I see so many people complaining. This person uses the “n” word. This person has, too. And this person can, so why can’t we? Why can’t Hulk?
I’m a white, CIS male that does my best to understand privilege and may not subscribe to political correctness, but certainly subscribes to politeness, and my answer is, no one should say that word. Certainly not a white guy, in bed with his best friend’s wife, while he’s being video taped.
So for WWE, Mattel, 2K games to drop him, of course they have to.
Does he need a Benoit style whitewash out of history? Jury is out there. It’s been a week or so, you know? Iron Sheik routinely says that kind of thing and worse on the reg, but he’s Sheik.
And it doesn’t make it right.
Hulk Hogan was a hero, someone presented to a generation of kids as the best of what America could be. Sure, a lot of that was predetermined outcomes, PEDs and carny manipulation, but there’s nothing like saying that everything someone was told throughout their childhood is a lie to make people question reality.
But what do I know? My hero got knifed in a shower in 1988.