All-Elite Wrestling has been painted as the anti-WWE in many ways. It’s supposed to support minority groups, socially conscious causes like Black Lives Matter, and more, but it may be hard to explain how the promotion’s color commentator Marc Letzman aka Excalibur is on camera and video using the N-Word in reference to an African-American performer…multiple times.
Take a look at the video below.
Excalibur Calls an African-American Performer The N-Word
He's said it multiple times.pic.twitter.com/40MOXxEARS
— Último Tragón (@Serenil) July 29, 2020
It appears to be a clip from a match that took place under the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla promotion, and it’s likely a part of the storyline, or Excalibur’s character. However, this is the exact kind of racially insensitive material WWE has gotten flack for in the past–and to some degree today.
AEW Brands Itself as Above This Sort of Thing
Years ago, Vince McMahon says to John Cena, “keep it up my nigga,” during an on-air episode of WWE programming. It was supposed to be comedy, but many people didn’t find the humor.
There was also the time when Roddy Piper wrestled Bad News Brown after painting his body half black as a means of taunting the African-American wrestler. That’s the more flagrant transgressions, but WWE still has more subtle issues taking place in their product presently.
WWE is often blasted for its blatantly stereotyped characters based on their ethnicity. African-American and black wrestlers are often saddled with gimmicks that cause for them to dance around, speak what many would describe as Ebonics, and play into other stereotypes.
The same goes for wrestlers of Asian descent who are often labeled mysterious and eccentric. Latino wrestlers are not spared either. They too are often stereotyped or only presented as luchadors (wrestlers wearing a mask).
AEW is supposed to be above that sort of thing, and while this didn’t happen during an AEW match or program, you’d think there would at the very least be some sort of an acknowledgment from the promotion, Cody Rhodes (one of the vice presidents), or Excalibur himself.
Obviously, it was in the past, but to not address the issue–especially in today’s climate–would be tone-deaf and inappropriate on all levels.