When WWE content moves over to Peacock next month, the wrestling franchise will be missing some bits from older programming. Variety reports that the NBCUniversal streaming service is cleaning up old WWE segments to remove material that’s considered “objectionable” or racist.
Since Peacock began adding WWE to its library earlier this month, fans have noticed some older scenes are no longer available, including a 2005 Survivor Series bit in which chairman/showman Vince McMahon calls wrestler and actor John Cena the n-word in a greeting. Wrestler Booker T, who is Black, can be heard saying, “Tell me he didn’t just say that” in response to McMahon’s comment.
Other instances of now-unavailable content include the 1990 WrestleMania 6 match between “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Bad News Brown. During the match, Piper, who is white, wore partial blackface to fight Brown, who is Black. “I hear Bad News Brown, how he’s talking about Harlem, and how he’s proud to be from Harlem,” Piper says during a pre-match interview, per The Hollywood Reporter. “Now I can stand here, and I can be Black! I can be white! Don’t make no difference to me. … It’s what’s inside.”
Both of the offensive scenes removed by Peacock were first reported by PWInsider earlier this week.
While Peacock is cutting some offensive material from old WWE matches and scenes, the content previously showed the WWE Network, but ran with a disclaimer: “The following program is presented in its original form. It may contain some content that does not reflect WWE’s corporate views and may not be suitable for all viewers. WWE characters are fictitious and do not reflect the personal lives of the actors portraying them. Viewer discretion is advised.”
The edits to the WWE catalogue come as the WWE Network prepares to shut down April 4 and transfer its content to Peacock. Starting next month, viewers looking to watch WWE will need a Peacock subscription to access the material, which amounts to 17,000-plus-hours in total.
Under the new deal, WWE will be offered to customers under Peacock Premium, the streamer’s ad-supported tier, which costs $4.99 per month. WWE will also be available without ads on Peacock Premium Plus, which costs $9.99 per month. For more info on watching WWE on Peacock next month, check out our guide to How to Watch the WWE Network on Peacock.
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