Though some WWF fans may think they heard utter what sounded like a racial slur on Monday’s Raw Is War show, Jim Ross, Vice-President of the World Wrestling Federation, is saying that’s not the case, nor would the promotion ever tolerate such hateful language on their television broadcasts.
“The bottom line is it was not written for him and he did not enunciate very clearly. He was talking kind of fast and somewhat out of character, trying to be hip or cool, and it came out sounding like it was ‘gooks’, as in the slanderous remark,” Ross told SLAM! Wrestling today as he took time out from WCW meetings in Atlanta, Georgia, to address the issue.
Ross stated that word The Big Show really said when talking about his Japanese foes, Kaientai, was “goofs”. Ironically, in Canada the promo followed an on-air statement made by TSN that the channel had violated the voluntary Canadian Broadcast Standards Council code by not editing segments of Raw Is War in the past.
According to Ross, both he and commentator Paul Heyman heard Big Show’s remark over their head-sets at the time it was made. Heyman immediately expressed concern that viewers at home would be confused and think the worst. Ross and Heyman decided to bring it up again later in the show so that the situation could be explained and the air cleared.
TSN attempted to bleep out the word but were only successful in masking part of it. Ross says the reason that was done was to prevent any misunderstanding not because The Big Show had uttered something inappropriate.
“If I was at home and I wasn’t paying that much attention to it, I might have thought the same thing as well,” Ross said.
According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulations no “abusive comment or abusive pictorial representation that, when taken in context, tends to or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability” can be aired on Canadian television.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council code addresses the same issue stating in its Human Rights clause that “broadcasters shall endeavour to ensure, to the best of their ability, that their programming contains no abusive or discriminatory material or comment which is based on matters of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status or physical or mental handicap”.
When contacted by SLAM! Wrestling, a spokesperson for the CRTC said that as of yet, they haven’t received any complaints about the incident and because of that they have no investigation planned.