We know that professional wrestling—the kind that many of us grew up watching—has trafficked in ugly racial stereotypes. Is that day over in a more inclusive (yet still fake) entertainment medium?
That's a question that may be considered as a lawsuit plays out from a former WWE writer. As reported by Sports Illustrated, Britney Abrahams, who used to work on SmackDown, filed a federal wrongful termination lawsuit in New York against the WWE, Vince McMahon, and other executives at the company, as well as other writers.
Abrahams, who is Black, says she worked for WWE from late 2020 to 2022 and that her termination stemmed from her complaints about "offensively racist and stereotypical jargon" she posed to senior and head writers on the show. Abrahams said she even spoke to a wrestler who was asked to say a scripted line, "Uh-uh! Don't make me take off my earrings and beat your ass!" and was told that other writers refused to remove the line from scripts even though the wrestler, Bianca Belair (pictured above), objected.
One offensive thread referenced in the suit claims there was a proposed storyline about one of the Muslim wrestlers in the WWE, Mansoor, having been behind the 9/11 attacks. Abrahams says two pitched storylines involving Black wrestler Reggie were putting him in drag or having him hunted by a white wrestler.
The suit says that Abraham was officially fired for taking home a commemorative WrestleMania chair, but that other writers regularly took home chairs and were not fired.
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