Is World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) attempting to portray the Tea Party as a racist movement with its latest storyline involving Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter? The Alex Jones-led InfoWars.com claims it is.
Swagger recently returned from a six-month hiatus and brought along Colter as his manager or mouthpiece. The “All American American” became a “patriot” and has decided to rail against illegal immigrants for trying to destroy the United States.
On Monday night’s edition of “Raw,” Swagger and Colter delivered a State of the Union address that had a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag in the background. After Colter gave his speech, the commentators joked that the two men receive fan mail from the likes of conservative radio talk show hosts Alex Jones, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
YouTube videos have also been posted by Colter as part of the storyline.
Paul Joseph Watson of InfoWars.com published an article that accused the WWE of trying to jump “on the bandwagon of demonizing Tea Party Americans as racists by creating a xenophobic character who espouses anti-immigrant rhetoric.”
After winning at the “Elimination Chamber” this past Sunday, Swagger will face off against Alberto Del Rio, who has transformed into a hero of the Mexican people, at WrestleMania XXIX for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The WWE issued a statement Tuesday responding to the intense criticisms from conservative pundits and activists.
“WWE has a long history of creating fictional characters that serve as either protagonists or antagonists, no different than other television shows or feature films,” said Brian Flinn, WWE’s senior VP of marketing and communications, in a statement. "To create compelling and relevant content for our audience, it is important to incorporate current events into our storylines.”
Although it may appear to be controversial, the WWE, formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), has portrayed outlandish and contentious storylines before.
Years ago, the WWE had a SuperStar depict Muhammed Hassan, an obvious Arab terrorist. In one SmackDown! segment, Hassan began to pray on the stage ramp as five men wearing ski masks and camo pants armed with clubs and a piano wire attacked The Undertaker. Following the match, the masked men carried Undertaker’s opponent, Daivari, above their heads and carried him away. Hours before the episode was to air, the London Bombings transpired.
Previous storylines that have been deemed controversial include two men getting married to each other in a fake ceremony, a wrestler getting hanged from a cage, Triple H making love to a doll inside of a coffin and an old woman giving birth to a hand.