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GLAAD forces WWE and John Cena to knock off the homophobic jokes

Thanks to GLAAD, John Cena will have to drop the lame gay jokes from his verbal act.  (Wikimedia Commons)
Thanks to GLAAD, John Cena will have to drop the lame gay jokes from his verbal act. (Wikimedia Commons)
Poor John Cena, having been outclassed on the mic at every turn by The Rock, now he has to prepare for their verbal confrontation next week on Raw without his favourite weapons, the homophobic rap and the mean spirited gay joke, thanks to the intervention of those politically correct killjoys GLAAD.  With WWE's unofficial theme for WrestleMania being the Attitude Era, Cena's promos have in recent weeks been peppered with homophobic innuendo like:

You left us high and dry to play a fairy with a tooth?

He wore lipstick in Get Shorty, and rocked a skirt for The Game Plan.

I'm like a big purple pinwheel so go ahead and blow me.

Just don't go racing to Witch Mountain, Rock, cause your mountain is Brokeback.

The Rock's new movie?  Well it's nothing like Walking Tall; he spends the movie in a bowling alley polishing my balls.

Do you really want to look back years from now and realize you shared your legacy with another man?! …  Wait don’t answer that.

Now The Miz and Alex Riley are co-champions and to celebrate it they're going to move in together.  They're going to buy one of those tandem bikes and ride to bed bath and beyond to buy some duvets.  And every evening they're going to relax with a glass of warm piot noir and watch The Notebook, or reruns of last season's Bachelor. ... You want to be a mentor and train him?  Well, tonight I'm going to train you on how to be a man.

Rock didn't win, but it's OK, I'll give him a pearl necklace.

Given that their top babyface, who is a role model to thousands of young boys, was laying on the homophobia so thick in his promos of late, it is unsurprising that someone brought this to GLAAD's attention and they took some long overdue action.  Long overdue, given that WWE courted GLAAD in 2002 to endorse the Billy and Chuck gay wedding angle only to pull a bait and switch on them (Billy and Chuck didn't go through with it, getting cold feet due to being two straight guys encouraged by their flamboyant manager Rico to get married for the publicity) and this is far from the first time Cena has used homophobic jokes in his promos.  The end result is that WWE, like TNA, are now hypocritically launching an anti-bullying initiative:

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) will be working with GLAAD to create and promote an anti-bullying initiative aimed at their core audience, and has invited us to conduct trainings for their staff of writers and editors.  ...  

GLAAD contacted WWE executives and explained the problem after receiving our first reports.  They then spoke to John Cena and the show's writers.   We have been assured that not only will such incidents not happen again, WWE intends to reach out to their adolescent audience, with messages aimed making it clear that bullying someone with homophobic taunts or for their perceived sexual orientation is wrong.  WWE released the following apology statement to that effect:

"WWE takes this issue very seriously, and has already spoken with our talent about these incidents. We are taking steps and working with GLAAD to ensure that our fans know that WWE is against bullying or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  We strongly value our fans in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and apologize to them for these incidents."

I wonder if Vince McMahon will go on this anti-bullying training, because if not it may be a wasted effort.  He obviously needs the training more than most of his staff, given all the years he's allowed homophobic stereotypes and taunts on his programming.  If he strongly valued the WWE fans in the LGBT community, then these stereotypes and taunts would have ended long ago, instead of being so behind the curve that he needed GLAAD pressure in 2011 to hopefully put an end to them once and for all.

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