Tony Khan responds to diversity criticism in AEW, stars respond

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Tony Khan speaks on pivoting with Tay Conti and Sammy Guevara
Tony Khan (image credit Rubin Jay @ PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Tony Khan took to Twitter on New Year’s Eve to publicly combat criticism from Big Swole on the diversity of AEW. Swole left the company earlier this year.

On her Swole World show, Swole talked about her issues with the company at length and said the biggest issue was a lack of diversity.

“Outside of [lack of structure] their biggest issue, which is diversity,” Swole said. “I do not beat around the bush when it comes to diversity and my people. There is no representation, truly, and when there is, it does not come across in the black community as genuine. At all. I don’t know why everybody is so afraid to accept it or say it, but it’s not a good look. What happens is, you have this wonderful company that treats people like family, but there is nobody that looks like me that is represented at the top and in the room with them. They are not helping to necessarily influence decisions, but to explain why certain slang and certain word shouldn’t be said. There is no one else who can explain our culture and experience except for us. I knew something was up when my daughter, who loves watching wrestling, she would watch AEW all the time and rarely watch WWE. She’s not a big fan unless dad was on TV, which stopped happening after they botched the Hurt Business. She would say, ‘Mommy, there is nobody that looks like me on AEW. There’s nobody that looks like daddy. Then she started watching WWE because she saw Bianca and Big E. She saw herself represented. If that wasn’t a ‘click.’ ‘You are absolutely right. I don’t have an explanation.’ It’s 2021. Why are people saying, ‘it’ll take three years for AEW to have a black champ’? This is a scripted sport. It should not take that long if you have been watching WWE for 50+ years and you know what not to do.”

Khan responded and named a diverse group of talents that had received wins on television in the last month. Khan also confirmed he decided not to renew Swole’s contract because “her wrestling wasn’t good enough.

“The top 2 @AEW execs are brown (me & Megha)!! Jade, Bowens, Caster, Dante, Nyla, Isiah & Marq Quen all won on tv this month. The TBS Title Tournament has been very diverse. I let Swole’s contract expire as I felt her wrestling wasn’t good enough. #AEWRampage Street Fight TONIGHT!”

Lio Rush and Powerhouse Hobbs both took to Twitter to respond to the situation and Khan’s remarks.

AEW Dynamite premieres on TBS on January 5 after a two year run on TNT. On the show, Adam Page will defend the AEW World Championship against Bryan Danielson. In addition, the TBS Championship Tournament will conclude with Jade Cargill facing Ruby Soho in the finals.

Special thanks to Wrestling Inc for the Big Swole transcription.


CATCH-UP: AEW Rampage draws better than expected rating on Christmas night for Guevara vs. Cody TNT Title match, Hook’s second match

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*