Michael Leonardi, a former WWE writer, is claiming he was fired for standing up against what he deemed could be a racially insensitive script.

In a video he posted on Linked In, Leonardi details his accusations against WWE and Vince McMahon in particular.

“I was fired by Vince McMahon back in 2016 while trying to protect the company from airing a racially insensitive segment. For years I felt ashamed and replayed the situation 1000’s of times over in my head trying to figure out what I could have done to not get fired. In light of everything going on, I just wanted to get it off my chest as I’m finally starting to feel like maybe I didn’t deserve to be fired?” he wrote introducing the video.

“I know there are a lot of other people who have similar experience than I do. Before I say anything else I want to make it really clear that I love WWE. I loved working there. I loved all of my co-workers,” he began making sure viewers understood his take on the people who make up WWE and the culture itself were very different.

Leonardi worked for WWE fromĀ 2001 to 2005 and also from 2015 to 2016 as part of “Vince’s writing team”. Leonardi called McMahon the “showrunner of the business”.

He says his firing in 2016 was over a situation that was a “misalignment” with his morals and ethics and that he and his co-workers bonded over the tension and added layer of paranoia at WWE.

“I was fired over a very particular segment which quite frankly still rubs me the wrong way and I think about it all the time. I always think about what I could have done better, if anything, to have not gotten fired,” said Leonardi.

The segment involved four superstars: R-Truth, Titus O’Neil, Mark Henry and Neville (Pac) on the Martin Luther King Day edition of Raw.

“The script called for Neville to speak up and tell everyone else that he’s got ‘a dream’ too and that ‘dream’ is to win the Royal Rumble. I remember Neville coming up to me after he read it and he was like: Man, I can’t say this,” detailed Leonardi.

Leonardi and Neville didn’t appreciate comparing his desire to win the Royal Rumble to one of the most famous and important civil rights speeches of all time.

“It was dumb. It was poor writing. It doesn’t make Neville look like a face. That was something a heel would say. That would be what a bad guy would say to undermine the importance of that speech,” said Leonardi. “Not only was Neville uncomfortable but the other three guys in the room, R-Truth, Titus O’Neil, Mark Henry thought it was f—–g terrible.”

Leonardi felt there was no time to rewrite the script and he was uncomfortable with the segment as a whole. He and the talent worked together to produce something different and something that wouldn’t be considered offensive to their audience by having R-Truth say the line. Leonardi believes the segment came off as fun and warm on MLK Day. Leonardi said even his boss approved it and asked him to explain it McMahon who was situation in the “gorilla position”.

“I will never forget this. He (McMahon) is staring at the screen. He takes off his headphones and he turns to me and says…You didn’t give me what I wanted?” recalled Leonardi.

Leonardi explained, as best that he could, why he and the talent changed the segment. According to Leonardi, McMahon got very heated and chewed him out in front of everyone.

“We were all just trying to protect the company from putting out a segment, that was poor and put us in a bad light over nothing,” said Leonardi who was fired over his decision.

Leonardi also spoke about the character of Muhammad Hassan and his build-up to a PPV match with the Undertaker.

Shortly thereafter, the London bus bombings occurred which brought more attention to the angle and the concern with the United Paramount Network.

“I was assigned to produce the PPV promo for that match at the upcoming Great American Bash PPV. I told my boss that I had a problem being associated with the project,” wrote Leonardi.

“I was then promptly stripped of all my responsibilities as an associate producer and given grunt work. A week or so later, UPN put enough pressure on WWE that the character was eventually wiped from WWE programming after the PPV and never seen again. I was then given back my responsibilities. As much as I loved working there, I thought it was f—-d up that the situation was handled that way and soon thereafter put in my notice,” he wrote.

Leonardi now works as the co-founder of #notonmywatch “a non-profit organization driven to prevent sexual misconduct and level societal inequalities through training, education and community programs for men, women and children”. He is also a life coach and the co-founder of various Gracie Barra Princeton, a franchise of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self-Defense academies.