Anti-Gay Tweet from WWE’s Cole
A World Wrestling Entertainment announcer has generated controversy by firing off a homophobic tweet--the second such instance in two months. At the end of February, a WWE wrestler, John Cena, let fly with "a series of homophobic taunts," according to a March 23 365 Gay posting announcing a partnership between WWE and GLAAD in the wake of Cena’s remarks.
The latest incident took place in the form of a tweet from announcer Michael Cole to fellow announcer Josh Mathews, in which Cole "tweeted the word ’faggot,’ " according to a March 29 posting at 365 Gay.com.
"WWE takes this issue very seriously, and has already spoken with our talent about these incidents," a spokesperson told TMZ, the article said. "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."
365 Gay reported that Cole sent out a new tweet to make amends for the slur. "I apologize to any and all who were offended by my tweet toward young Josh Mathews," Cole sent out. "It was obviously not meant the way it was taken."
Cole then sent another message reading, "I was not ordered to apologize, I said I am sorry because I am. Now can I get back to being a character again please?"
The 365 Gay.com article said that the second tweet was later scrubbed.
The fracas with Cena started when Cena uttered anti-gay boasts on the program WWE Raw, including one verbal jab in which Cena warned Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, "Just don’t go racing to Witch Mountain, Rock, ’cause your mountain is Brokeback."
The taunt was a reference to two movies, the Johnson vehicle Escape to Witch Mountain from Walt Disney Studios, and the Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger "gay cowboy" romance Brokeback Mountain from Focus Features.
"We strongly value our fans in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and apologize to them for these incidents," WWE stated at the time. WWE and GLAAD subsequently formed a partnership against defamatory and discriminatory practices toward sexual minorities.
ProWrestling.com reported on the fracas on March 22 in which a GLAAD statement was reproduced.
"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," the statement said. "Our outreach to WWE was prompted by outrage from many LGBT viewers, about a series of homophobic taunts by wrestler John Cena on the USA program WWE Raw in late February. We reached out to WWE Incorporated, which responded swiftly and positively."
The GLAAD statement detailed Cena’s jibes at The Rock, which took the form of a rap song, and added that Cena had also subjected another opponent, The Miz, to taunts about his wrestling partner, Alex Riley, in which he suggested that the two were a gay couple.
"The incidents were particularly troubling because WWE recently began promoting itself as PG-rated entertainment marketed primarily towards adolescent males," the statement noted.
"Young boys are of course the demographic most likely to experience homophobic bullying or to be bullying themselves. And there was wrestling superstar John Cena performing what amounted to scripted homophobic bullying of other wrestlers on a nationally broadcast show for kids."
That posting ended with a "direct link" to a different Pro Wrestling.com article titled, "Must See New Pics of Kelly Kelly Showing Off Her Body in Daisy Dukes!"