Rein Him In or Cut Him Loose

***Update: This post was made prior to the announcement that Jim Cornette has resigned from the NWA***

Greetings to All!

Oh Jim Cornette.

Yesterday, almost immediately after airing, episode 7 of NWA Powerrr was removed from the NWA’s YouTube and Facebook pages. NWA Vice President David Lagana tweeted out this explanation.

It doesn’t take much guesswork to figure out which talent was behind the offensive comments.

Jim Cornette has never been one to be careful about if his words offend anyone. It’s a big part of his wrestling persona. He’s already caused some controversy recently with remarks that were interpreted to be a joke about suicide. I, personally, was bothered by a comment he made about hanging a picture of Thunder Rosa in prisons to scare sex offenders. This time around it was a comment that many perceived as racist that has created a swift backlash.

I won’t reprint the comment here, you can see it elsewhere if you haven’t read it by now. It certainly was a risky joke and when I heard it, I knew that it was going to ruffle some feathers. That was a bit of an understatement on my part.

I had heard people state that they would not watch Powerrr with their kids because of some of the things Cornette says but now it looks like he might be driving away adult viewers too. This is a problem for a company that’s trying to raise itself up from obscurity.

The reason this is NWA’s problem and not Jim Cornette’s is because Powerrr is not live TV. This was an edited taped episode. That means that NWA reviewed this episode and allowed it to go to air without anyone saying “We need to edit this line out”. It’s been questioned by some if NWA were aware that this would offend people and went ahead anyway in order to generate a buzz. There’s the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad press. I suppose there’s some truth to that, but if that’s the case then it’s a risky move.

The fact of the matter is that if you want to appeal to the widest possible audience, you have to take into account the culture of society. There was a time in our society where if you were too progressive, you would alienate large amounts of your audience. When Ellen came out as a lesbian on her sitcom, there was a huge drop in viewership which ended up leading to the show’s cancellation. Outrage culture is really nothing new, it’s just the things that people get outraged about have changed.

In 2019, a company should really know better than to let a line like this make it to air. If the NWA is trying to only appeal to a niche audience, that’s one thing, but I don’t think that’s the case here. Jim Cornette is never going to stop saying controversial things. It’s who he is. The NWA needs to figure out who they want to be. It’s 2019, not 1986, they can’t be old school about everything. If they want to continue to grow their brand and reach a wide audience then they’re going to need to rein in Cornette’s extreme tendencies, or they need to cut him loose.

Until We Meet Again,
Bryan Anthony

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