?Reported by Adam Martin of WrestleView.com
New York Post and Variety cover WWE 'terrorist' angle; UPN speaks up
On Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 9:15 PM EST Some bad publicity hit the mainstream newspapers today in WWE's direction following last Thursday's edition of WWE SmackDown involving a segment with five masked terrorist looking men attacking The Undertaker with Muhammad Hassan & Daivari involved as well. Both Variety and the New York Post covered the situation, noting that the segment was taped days in advance and that UPN made the call to air the segment with a disclaimer rolling on the bottom of the screen throughout the show.
WWE spokesperson Gary Davis was quoted numerous times in the both articles as well as WWE executive producer Kevin Dunn. "We all feel bad about the timing of the segment," added Davis. Kevin Dunn also added quote, "We're very proud of our product. We try and be sensitive with everything we portray, but there's got to be protagonists and antagonists on our TV shows." WWE.com has posted both of the articles and they can be read by clicking here. They also promised a response from Hassan on the site shortly.
Dave Meltzer of WrestlingObserver.com is reporting tonight that UPN sent word to WWE that due to all of the negative media publicity stemming from the segment last week that they didn't want Muhammad Hassan's character to appear on this week's show. According to reports, WWE had planned a storyline change for Hassan tonight in Worchester after the storyline involving the five masked "terrorists" backfired big time. We will have a full report from the SmackDown tapings late tonight in Worcester. If you attend the show, please pass on a report. To do so, click here or click the "Send Us News" link on the main page.
Thanks to Dave Berry for sending word as well.