Virtually all traces of him have been removed from WWE.com, including his Hall of Fame page, his merchandise and toys bearing his image and likeness, his involvement in WWE’s reality show Tough Enough, and his appearances as a playable character in WWE Immortals and in the upcoming WWE 2K16.
Hogan’s privacy had already been invaded once after gossip site Gawker scandalized him in 2012 by leaking a clip of an eight-year-old private video involving him and a woman named Heather Clem, to which he retaliated with a 100-million-dollar lawsuit. Now, thanks (or no thanks) to another tabloid site National Enquirer’s recent leaking a transcript of the conversation from the same video, his reputation is ruined yet anew.
The transcript detailed Hulk’s sensitive, racially-fueled rant about his daughter Brooke’s love life. I’d rather not quote it in this entry, however; my page is not a freakin’ tabloid after all.
Forbes reported that the controversy caused WWE shareholders to lose about $50 million in stocks. In order to save face, WWE severed its ties with the Hulkster, giving him "the Chris Benoit treatment." (Don't start with the "Chris Ben-who" jokes on me now.)
“WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide,” they said in a press statement.
For what it’s worth, an apologetic Hulk talked to PEOPLE magazine to say his side.
"Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it.
This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs."
While the things he said in the video are damning and seemingly inexcusable (especially by butthurt social justice warriors on the Internet), perhaps those were all he could say as a troubled man to have some sort of release. And when one is frustrated with life, admit it or not, he transforms into someone else, someone that is not himself.
But now, the Real American has once again—pardon the pun—hit the rock bottom.
All for a “giant scoop”, a million hits on their pages, and bigger ratings.
Then WWE, the company which Hulk helped build to become the juggernaut that it is now, left him hanging to dry, wanting nothing to do with him. As much as I want to blame WWE for what they did, however, they're only keeping “what’s best for business” at the top priority—and keeping Hogan with them at this point isn’t best for business. They had to let him go or it would hurt their reputation for “keeping an alleged racist as an employee” and “being racist” themselves. There is a reason why they went PG after all.
You have to ask yourself one question, though: is an old racially-spurred monologue from one man a sufficient enough cause to brand him as a racist? If that’s the case, then I should tell you of some other men in the WWE who are also racists by that argument.
You can accuse me of "siding with a racist", but I refuse to let this one overblown controversy ruin my image of Hulk Hogan. As much as WWE helped make him relevant, he in turn helped make the company reach globally, so no matter how WWE denies any and all connection with the Hulkster from this point on, the fact remains that he is STILL the original WrestleMania main-eventer.
While the WWE may present itself as non-discriminating company embracing all races, sexual orientations and whatnot, at the end of the day, when the topic of Hogan is brought up, there will be a group of people who will label the company as “a bunch of ingrates.”
The fact alone that WWE sacked the Hulkster already has them drawing flak from longtime fans, especially those in Australia who have paid money to see the 24-inch pythons run wild. The price of $350 per ticket is no joke, especially the $995 meet-and-greet package, so there's no wonder why the people would want their refunds.
Image credit: Peter Rae
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Good job, guys. You must be feeling heroic and proud of yourselves right now. Idiots.
To take a page from WWE: "Don’t be a bully, be a S.T.A.R.! (Show Tolerance and Respect)"
It's comforting to see that his own daughter Brooke got his back in all this. After all, the first ones who get hurt alongside you in your dark times are your own flesh and blood. She wrote a poem, eloquently putting everything she feels in all this hullabaloo. All those haters and condemners should read her poem and be guilty for vilifying a man for one mistake he did as if he had committed the greatest crime in the world, and that they themselves are superior to him and had never been racists in the entirety of their lives.
This is not the first time Hulk parted ways with WWE; he had been in TNA, too, and while going back there is out of the question, I’m sure Hogan will have new avenues open up for him along the way. He still has his friends and supporters who are forgiving of his misdeeds; it's in our human nature to forgive, after all, and those who can't are probably not humans.
I’m hoping that when all this boiling pot of controversial stew has stopped cooking, WWE and Hogan will mend the ties somewhere down the road. But if not, then I hope WWE doesn’t prove that they’re the hypocrites I see them as and sell Hulk Hogan memorial merchandise when the Immortal One has gone on to a new plane of existence.
By the way, speaking of immortals, I still have these in my inventory.
Hulk Hogan had always been synonymous with the WWE, but due to this scandal, all of us will be forced to redefine him. Like I said earlier, I refuse to define him by the mistake he did, but by the legacy and the history he built over time. WWE may believe that "no man is bigger than the enterprise", but look at The Rock now. I'm sure Hulk will get back on track, and as far as I'm concerned, from this point on, it shouldn't be him needing the WWE. It's up to him to build his own brand back, and as a Hulkamaniac, I will be there to cheer him on.
Anyway, Hulk...apology accepted. If the whole of America starts to disown you, you're welcome to visit Manila anytime.