Jim Cornette addresses NWA Powerrr controversy.
On Tuesday's episode of NWA Powerrr, fans called to light a controversial remark made by Jim Cornette when he said, "Trevor Murdoch is the only man that I've ever known that can strap a bucket of fried chicken on his back and ride a motor scooter across Ethiopia."
NWA quickly pulled the episode after it aired, editing out the line before re-posting it and issuing a statement, apologizing for the error. On Wednesday, the company announced Cornette had resigned from his position as an announcer.
On the latest episode of his Jim Cornette Experience podcast, Cornette detailed his position and explained why the comment wasn't racist. Cornette started by saying NWA Vice President David Lagana called him to address the comment, wondering if he would apologize.
"How can I apologize for something I didn't say? That these people are mad that I don't like their favorite wrestler, said I said. They're butthurt and they take it the wrong way and try to get offended. I can't apologize because I didn't say that. However, you can reprimand me for it and tell me how serious you're taking it. And that's the statement they put out. And I said I would continue to not do the things I didn't do," Cornette said in reference to the NWA apologizing on behalf of Cornette of his comments about suicide. "In this case, I said, 'David, this was a taped show. What did you think about it when you heard it?' He said, 'Well, it went right past me.' I said, 'You think?' 'They are so upset on Twitter.' That's another thing I've talked about with him before. If you give these people the idea that every time they complain about something, you'll just jump around apologizing whether it was said or meant in a bad way, then they'll do it all the time. He's already proven he will do that," he said.
Cornette continued, "Someone said, 'If he hadn't said chicken, it would have been fine.' Well, a bucket of chicken sounds funnier than a fucking plate of sushi or ham sandwich. So it happened to be that, because it was funny. Ethiopia is a place where people are fucking starving. It's a starvation joke. Not a race joke. Whether it was a good joke or bad joke, it was a joke that's been told on TBS, USA Network, broadcast TV stations across America for the past 30 years. Suddenly, it isn't good for YouTube."
Cornette first made the comment in reference to Big Bossman many years ago. He also noted that a fan brought up an episode of 1995 WWF Superstars where he apparently made the same comment. He continued, noting that no one reacted to the comment when it first happened or in the weeks of editing.
"Joe Galli, who was sitting next to me, didn't fall over, clutch his heart, and shit his pants," he said. "Nobody in the control room thought to pull the plug. Nobody remarked on the comment afterwards. And in the six weeks the show has been sitting in the can and gone through the editing process and gotten ready for broadcast, nobody thought to bring it up. If a producer had said, 'Oh Jim, don't say that.' Okay, sorry. If, after the show, (someone said), 'We're gonna have to take that one joke out.' Okay, fine, sorry you have extra work. If anybody called me and said, 'Jim you told that joke. It's racist.' Okay, I didn't know that. I was thinking it was fucking funny. I do apologize when I feel bad about some things and I apologized to Dave Lagana for hanging up on him. If a statement had been put out that had said, 'Hey, one of the announcers told an old joke that was probably in poor taste and we missed it in editing and we sure do apologize.' I could be on board with that. I'm no trying to bury him, Dave edited the show and he's writing the apology and he didn't include himself."
Finally, Cornette did sort of apologize for the comment.
"I didn't mean it in any racist way. I think the people that took it as racist must think that's the only things on peoples mind when they think of black people and chicken. For all the people overblown about this, fuck you. People who were mildly offended, I apologize because it wasn't meant that way. To anyone who was legitimately offended by a bad joke in a 'kinda sorta' way and would accept a reasonable apology as humans sometimes do; Yes, I'm sorry because I didn't intend it that way. For people who thought it was various stages of hilarious or just rolled their eyes, then I don't need to apologize. For people who think I was 'fuckity mcfuck cunt face' on television and professing Nazi ideology and expressing hate for a variety of people and I should be boiled in oil and have my fat sold for soap for a bad joke; fuck you. I don't care if you don't like me," he stated.
The Ethiopian comment was the second time NWA had to issue an apology on behalf of Cornette. The first came when he "joked" about suicide on social media.
When asked whether it was true that he resigned or if he was fired, Cornette stated, "[Lagana] didn't get a chance to fire me if he was going to because I got wound up, I was talking, he was listening, and I said, 'Fuck it, it aint fun anymore. You don't want this. I don't want this and I'm fucking sick of it and I'm fucking done.' And I hung up on him."
Cornette also said the job was no longer fun due to the apologies he was being asked to give and felt he was distracting from what the NWA was trying to do.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit The Jim Cornette Experience with a h/t to Fightful for the transcription.