Zeb Colter – Racist or not?
Without doubt the most talked moment of this weeks Raw involved the unexpected return of Dutch Mantel as Jack Swagger’s new associate. But it was the content of his promo after the match that stole the headlines, as he was revealed to have ultra-conservative views on immigrants.
When I first watched the promo I moved a little uncomfortably in my seat. As an Englishman, I feel our countries are very similar when it cones to society. We have enough problems dealing with foreigners in countries in the east and the last thing we need to do is anger the lines that our living in ours as well. Of course, the vast majority of minorities are good people and for them to be made to look like the problem with America is extremely uncalled for.
I feel like a bit of a hypocrite at times like this because I’m one of those that yearns for the days of the ‘Attitude Era’ with its contents that constantly pushed the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable. But when saw this I thought that the WWE had a crossed a line with this gimmick. The fact that Zeb Colter is an actual Vietnam veteran gives the storyline extra gravitas and all the more real.
After reflecting on it for a bit, I guess I’m okay with the gimmick. As long as they are continue to portray Colter as having delusional views on immigrants and immigration as a whole. If is the way they treat the storyline and subject then it can have a positive outcome as it can help the younger viewers to form positive attitudes towards minorities.
On the other hand, it’s good to see that WWE is having characters on screen that reflect a lit of views that many Americans, and others living in their respected countries will hold. It’s been a while since WWE has been reflecting society rather than just mocking current events that have been happening.
Bearing this in mind, the problem I see is that just as many fans like to cheer for the bad guys. Those who agree with Colter’s opinion may get behind him as well. I’m pretty sure that WWE is unlikely to want people to assume that casual viewers who turn will associate wrestling fans with these controversial views. Also, I don’t think this going to go down well with any of their sponsor’s especially as they were promised PG TV.
WWE hasn’t had a good history with on-screen characters with extreme views. In 2005, WWE had to pull Muhammad Hassan off television after a backlash because of his extreme views on America’s treatment of Arab’s after 9/11 and a storyline involving a ‘terrorist attack’ coinciding with the 7/11 attacks in London.
Whether you love or hate this new character there’s one thing we can all agree on. At least Colter a lot better than that stupid man in the eagle costume.