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“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan),” the company said in a statement Friday morning. “WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
The WWE has not confirmed the specific reason for ending its contract with Hogan. According to a “joint investigation” by the The National Enquirer and Radar Online, the decision came down after additional footage from Hogan’s 2012 sex tape leaked, showing the wrestler making racist comments about his daughter Brooke‘s boyfriend, whom he believed to be black.
“I’d rather if she was going to f— some n—er,” Hogan reportedly said on the tape. “I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n—er worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!
The WWE has since scrubbed all mentions of Hogan’s name from its website. A source tells THR that a replacement judge will appear in Hogan’s place on Tuesday’s episode of WWE Tough Enough. Further details will be announced on Tuesday’s episode. Additionally, the WWE will no longer air previous episodes of the series that involve Hogan.
According to USA Today, Hogan is also no longer present on the WWE Hall of Fame page. All merchandise has been removed from WWEShop.com.
I haven’t gotten confirmed audio yet, but the transcripts that I’ve seen have Hogan calling The Rock the “N-word” and “sambo” among others.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) July 24, 2015
In a statement to People, Hogan has apologized for his comments, saying: “Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it.”
“This is not who I am,” the statement continues. “I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”
Hogan also issued a cryptic response on Twitter in the immediate wake of initial reports.
In the storm I release control,God and his Universe will sail me where he wants me to be,one love. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 24, 2015
The transcripts of Hogan’s sex tape likely stem from his ongoing lawsuit with Gawker, which published an excerpt of the tape in 2012. Hogan is suing Gawker for $100 million for allegedly invading his privacy by publishing it.
July 24, 10:45 a.m. Updated with news of replacement judge on Tuesday’s Tough Enough.
July 24, 12:30 p.m.: Updated with information about reruns of Tough Enough.
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