For those hoping WWE won't punish Jack Swagger for his recent arrest for DUI this week, here's as good a reason as any: the company is garnering a ton of mainstream attention for the character Swagger is portraying alongside Zeb Colter, including political commentator Glenn Beck blasting the brand for its promoting such a racist and xenophobic storyline:
"You're making a villain out of what? Probably 80 percent of your audience who's tired as it is of being miscast? They're tired of this. I'm sick and tired of being miscast. I am sick and tired of it. It is lazy at best. And I certainly am not going to give any more time or my money to any organization that is miscasting, is making it harder for me and my family to stand up for what I believe in."
In response to this, WWE went straight into promoter mode and has reached out to Beck to make an appearance on Monday Night Raw next week, which emanates from Beck's hometown in Dallas, Texas.
From the press release:
STAMFORD, Conn., February 22, 2013 - WWE has extended an invitation to talk show host and political commentator, Glenn Beck to appear live this Monday on Raw, in response to a segment that aired on TheBlaze TV yesterday.
In the segment, Beck references WWE as "stupid wrestling people," when criticizing a recent WWE storyline involving WWE characters Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. WWE is giving Beck the opportunity to address our 14 million weekly viewers and our global fan base, as he believes we are offending our "conservative" fans with this storyline.
Similar to other television shows and feature films, WWE is in the entertainment business, creating fictional characters that serve as protagonists or antagonists. To create compelling and relevant content for our audience, it is important to incorporate current events into our storylines.
WWE is creating a rivalry centered on a topical subject that has varying points of view. This storyline was developed to build the Mexican American character Del Rio into a hero given WWE's large Latino base, which represents 20 percent of our audience.
That last paragraph is amazing if only because WWE is outright admitting to everyone the purpose of the storyline thereby defeating it before it ever really gets off the ground. It will continue, of course, and I'm in favor of this level of transparency but I'm shocked they would cop to it.
Your thoughts on this, Cagesiders?