Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WWE & Flight MH17

When Malaysian Flight MH17 was blown out of the skies last week, a question later dawned on me.

How will World Wrestling Entertainment handle this one?

You see, right now - in storyline - WWE has a Russian manager, Lana, who endorses Vladimir Putin on every single show.

Knowing WWE's track record of courting controversy (remember Sgt. Slaughter during the Gulf War and especially them not editing out an angle involving Muhammad Hassan a few days after the 7/7 bombings in 2005), I was curious to see what would happen next time Lana was given the microphone.

And so she took said mic at Sunday's Battleground pay-per-view and acknowledged that Russia was not responsible for 'recent current events'. She then, as per usual, dedicated the match between her client, Rusev against Jack Swagger in honour of Vladimir Putin.

I knew there would be some controversy even with the subtle alluding to Flight MH17 being a 'recent current event'. But what shocked me the most was WWE's response to the storm it caused the following day.

Last night's segment during WWE's Battleground event was in no way referring to the Malaysia Airlines tragedy. The storyline with characters Rusev and Lana has been a part of WWE programming for more than 3 months. WWE apologizes to anyone who misunderstood last night's segment and was offended

How patronising can they get? Furthermore, how dishonest and insulting?

Please don't be fooled. They knew exactly what they were doing when they scripted the 'recent current event' line.

This could become one of two things - a flash in the pan story that goes away or it could end up being a big thing where networks get involved asking for certain characters to be removed from television.

If it becomes the latter, I ask two questions.

Would it have been easier just to tone down her act for a while?

Why didn't the company learn its lessons from before?

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