I’m not saying that our own Rich Flynn is in any way responsible for this, but let’s give credit where it is due.

This article was posted on www.pwinsider.com today.


By Mike Johnson on 2011-03-18 10:55:41

The Gay and Lesbian Anti-Defamation Defense League issued the following statement on their website yesterday:

WWE Partners with GLAAD on Anti-Bullying Messages

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.

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.

GLAAD was first made aware of the incidents by several of its members following the February 21 broadcast of WWE Raw, which featured wrestler John Cena responding to taunts made by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with a rap song making fun of Johnson’s film roles.  The song included lyrics like “You left us high and dry to play a fairy with a tooth?” and “He wore lipstick in Get Shorty, and rocked a skirt for The Game Plan.”

But the real kicker came near the end when he said: “Just don’t go racing to Witch Mountain, Rock, cause your mountain is Brokeback.”

The next incident occurred on the show a week later (Feb. 28), when Cena was challenging another wrestler known as “The Miz” while in the ring with him, and had the crowd roaring when he joked about the Miz and his wrestling partner secretly being a couple. It began with Cena saying “Do you really want to look back years from now and realize you shared your legacy with another man?! ….Wait don’t answer that.” Cena continued:

“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.”

The incidents were particularly troubling because WWE recently began promoting itself as PG-rated entertainment marketed primarily towards adolescent males.  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.

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.”

We are very much looking forward to developing our relationship with WWE, and we thank them both for hearing our message loud and clear, and for planning to send an anti-bullying message of their own.


  1. (Rich Flynn here, by the way. Crazy wordpress.)

    Holy crap! Unexpected response from the WWE, I'm glad they're actually doing something about this.

    I'm glad this didn't turn into some sort of wrasslin' witchhunt, but I'm equally glad that there are so many people who are as fed up as I am with this casual, 'only joking!' approach to homophobia. It has no place on TV, let alone PG programming.

    This is the kind of progress we need. Rational progress. I'm proud to be part of the voice (albeit a drop in the ocean, at that) which has led to this.

  2. Where was GLAAD with Orlando Jordan? I find it troubling that what Cena says is considered threatening to the Gay community but what is shown on another program is considered okay because its a TV14 format. Yet still gives influence to those who watch it. But kudos to GLAAD to curtailing this act of defamation.

    • I guess it shows how insignificant TNA is… If that's what you're referring to!

      It seems they've only taken notice this time because so many people have blown the proverbial whistle (careful, now…).

      Any victory is a victory, I think, and this is a big one. Let's just hope they pull through with the campaign!

      • I was referring to TNA, and it does make them seem so insignificant when there character can't out offend Cena's words.

  3. True, plus there's also the caveat that Orlando Jordan technically agrees to portray the character. Negative reenforcement of stereotypes aside, of course.

    I forwarded this on to PinkNews.co.uk. I felt so cheeky e-mailing them, but I'm really pleased about what has happened!

  4. I must be the only person who, while being one of the least homophobic people alive, views this as a complete and utter over-reaction. Soon you won't be allowed to say ANYTHING on TV anymore. People have taken these comments way, way too seriously.

    • While the comments Cena made alone might not be enough to justify a response from GLAAD, it's the underlying thinking that absolutely has to go.

      Kids around the world are killing themselves because they're bullied for being gay. We're never gonna reach a level of tolerance if being gay is still viewed as an effective insult – especially by the 'goodie' to the 'baddies'.

      And, it's a positive outcome, too – there's not been a big war of words, things haven't gotten ugly. If this means the WWE will help tackle homophobic bullying, then that is a fucking amazing thing and I am chuffed to bits. It's about time the wrasslin' world pulled its weight promoting LGBT diversity.

  5. This is a positive movement for the program. I've got to wonder where they go from here, however. Will this promise stick? And more importantly, will the WWE see this as a challenge to their PG rating that has been getting edgier in non-homophobic ways lately? I worry that they will misinterpret this as meaning people like the Rock, who has certainly pushed the boundaries of TV PG, will be toned down as a result. I'm hoping they are smart enough to realize we just don't want misguided hate on our programming and not toss a security blanket over the whole product again.

    • Bad typing? I presumed that you were just drunk? Aren't all Scottish people drunk on days that end in "y?"


      Consider yourself bullied. 🙂 Luvs ya, Jamie!

    • "Misguided hate" in regards to the fact that it's Cena, hero to children everywhere (and representing the good guy role), is insinuating that being gay is wrong is what I was getting at there. Personally I could easily accept a hate-mongering heel say terrible things because it would only make me want to see a bigot get theirs by the face.

      Also, CM Punk is still a face to me (so maybe I'm misguided).

      • Exactly. If a bad guy were saying it, he'd eventually get his for doing so. My issue with all of this is precisely that the ultimate superhero, kid-friendly superstar, and public face of the company is insulting and tearing down his opponents for being gay, on programming that professes to be PG-rated, family-oriented, and directed at kids. It's a bad example, and that WWE acknowledges this, even superficially, is a step forward. I think "potentially misguided hate" may have been a clearer phrase, because while no one in WWE may intend to teach kids to become homophobic bullies, intention doesn't matter when that's what eventually happens.

        • Yep. You know that there are kids in the playground the next day who have memorized and recite Cena's latest rap to their friends at recess.

  6. While I appreciate your line of argument, I really see it as nothing more than innocent banter which has been taken way too seriously. Rich will attest that I have nothing at all against gay people (or any other people!) but, GLAAD just seem to like drawing attention to the whole gay/lesbian thing because it's a hot topic they can relate to. There's A LOT of hints dropped and jokes made about TV characters and their sexuality all over the place, yet nobody says peep about this. Suddenly those "big bad wrestler's" say something and it has to be contested.

    I'd love to tell GLAAD to just shut the hell up and go away, be homosexual and realise that jokes are made about everything.

  7. Also; it's fascinating to see people who have made jokes of a similar nature, sometimes worse, jump on a bandwagon. Somebody on my Facebook account emailed me to tell me they thought my views were "offensive". Suddenly you're not allowed to have your own opinion anymore if someone complains about something?

    • I totally support your right to have an opinion on this, because I know you can back it up well. I agree that it's a hot topic that lends itself towards other things being condoned while others are not. I also appreciate that here at the BWF we can have conversations like this without taking it too far or to heart. Kudos Mr. Kennedy!

  8. George Carlin (may he rest in peace) said that words by themselves meant nothing and were neither "bad" nor "good." He said that it was all about context and who used the words, and that you could joke about anything. He said that he could prove that rape was funny. Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd. Now stop laughing. Stop it! Now breathe. The man had an abundance of good points.

    Humor is relative, as we all already know, but I really don't think that anyone here (no clue about your Facebook messages) thinks that there are "sacred cow" topics, or that sexual humor is objectionable. The focus seems to be that in this one particular context, involving this one particular person and this one particular type of gay joke is irresponsible.

    Or I could be misreading everything.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS Feeds

Posts by Category