UPN responds

I got a form letter back from UPN.

Dear Neal,

Thank you for writing to UPN, and we appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns about “WWE SmackDown!” Due to the tragic events in London last Thursday, we took the added measure of running an advisory four times throughout the broadcast so that viewers could make the appropriate viewing decision for their household. We will continue to monitor the situation involving this character and storyline. Please be advised that we have noted your comments and wish to assure you that they have been shared with the senior broadcast executives at UPN.


Viewer Services

And here’s WWE’s attempt to explain themselves – NOT apologize (from Fox News):

“We’re very proud of our product,” said “Smackdown” executive producer Kevin Dunn. “We try and be sensitive with everything we portray, but there’s got to be protagonists and antagonists on our TV shows. We just happen to reflect the politics of the world sometimes – especially with these Arab-American characters.” … WWE’s Dunn says, “We are firmly in the entertainment business,” and that the plot, as edgy as it might have been, should be taken tongue-in-cheek.”

UPN pulled Muhammad Hassan from last night’s episode of Smackdown. The WWE prefaced the show with a disclaimer. Here’s Pro Wrestling Torch editor Wade Keller’s description of the opening:

The show opened with an advisory stating that due to world events, “sensitivities have risen” so viewer discretion was advised. How about instead: “Due to world events which we’re trying to exploit, but in a tongue-in-cheek way only, since you know, simulating beheadings, suicide bombing themes, martyrs, and such are obviously tongue-in-cheek, and it wasn’t our fault the bombers chose the morning of last week’s show which we couldn’t change, well we could have, but chose not to, because any publicity is good publicity, and you people really need to lighten up, it’s just wrestling, and we’re giving the Bash to the troops for free, so we’re not all bad, and look at those soldiers cheer us, so that makes it all okay – viewers who are total PC freaks and pussies may want to not watch.”

They don’t get it. They think they’re being persecuted in an overly-sensitive PC world. They really don’t understand that there are intelligent ways to portray things like terrorism, suicide bombers, etc. for meaningful and dramatic value. Then there’s the way WWE does it.

Haven’t watched any WWE programming since Davairi “sacrificed himself.”

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