WWE found themselves in hot water earlier this week after a promo by Jinder Mahal on this week's SmackDown Live was deemed to be racist by many fans in attendance in the arena and those watching the show on TV as well.
During his promo, the WWE Champion made cultural references to his Hell in a Cell opponent Shinsuke Nakamura, referring to him as Mr. Miyagi. and putting emphasis on the way which he pronounced L's like R's by saying the phrase "always rooks the same".
Fans in the arena watching SmackDown on Tuesday night made their voices heard by saying 'That's too far' in Mahal's direction, and the whole segment received huge backlash on social media, as well as national media attention.
The backlash the segment received resulted in WWE deleting all references to it on their social media accounts. They also didn't upload the segment highlights to their YouTube channel.
The Washington Post posted an article following the promo with fan's reaction to it, with the vast majority believing the promo was racist and had gone too far, even by WWE's standards, bring the whole situation into national media attention.
WWE responded with the following statement about the segment:
"Just like many other TV shows or movies, WWE creates programming with fictional personalities that incorporates real world issues and sensitive subjects.
"As a producer of such TV shows, WWE Corporate is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide."
This is probably as much as we're going to get on WWE's part in relation to this controversial promo. It will be interesting to see how WWE books Mahal going forward between now and Hell in a Cell, and if they will use this type of promo again, but just more toned down.
It will really be a test of what type of WWE superstar Mahal is, as if the WWE Champion can rebound from this and deliver a good promo on SmackDown next week to keep fans interested in his match and forgive what happened, there still could be hope for him near the top of the card.