MJF Blasts Hulk Hogan

11/17/2023 11:19 PM

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MJF Blasts Hulk Hogan

MJF Blasts Hulk Hogan

November 17, 2023 11:19 PM
MJF Blasts Hulk Hogan
AEW News

What Did AEW World Champion Say About Hogan?

MJF blasts Hulk Hogan in a recent video, making it clear how he feels about the two-time WWE Hall of Famer. Friedman's comments raise the question of whether fans can (or should) enjoy work from a wrestler whose personal life is nothing to be proud of. This also raises the question of whether fans can enjoy wrestling from eras that were culturally ignorant or downright racist.

The current AEW World Heavyweight Champion was receiving physical therapy from Dr. Beau Hightower in preparation for his two title defenses at Full Gear. The YouTube video features MJF discussing various topics including his thoughts on Hulk Hogan the wrestler and Hulk Hogan the person. MJF also brought up deceased wrestler Chris Benoit:

“Because he’s [Hogan] a liar and a racist. It doesn’t change the fact that he was a massive draw and the professional wrestling business will never be the same because of him, for the better, but there are plenty of professional wrestlers that did great business, it doesn’t mean they’re great people. Chris Benoit is a great professional wrestler, it doesn’t mean he’s a good person. For some reason, wrestling fans kind of struggle with that. They can’t separate the two, which is why I think people love me. I’m out and out a horrible person, and I’m honest about it. At least I’m honest about it.”

H/T Ringside News

Separating the Art from the Artist

The situations with Hogan and Benoit are two classic examples of the struggle to separate the art from the artist. This concept applies to any art form including literature, film, music, and here, pro wrestling. For example, people who enjoyed Bill Cosby's film and comedy works may no longer feel comfortable watching them. Other people may continue watching them, feeling they can separate the work of art from the artist.

The poet T.S. Elliot famously stated "I have assumed as axiomatic that a creation, a work of art, is autonomous." In MJF's case, he sounds like he can recognize the achievements Hogan made to the wrestling industry while also reserving the right to pass judgment on him (and Benoit as well).

Erasing Wrestlers and Wrestling from History

Fans have seen promotions try to erase their past. The WWE did its best to scrub Chris Benoit from the company immediately following the news of his horrific murder of his wife and son. While the WWE can't remove Benoit entirely from its archives and videos, there was a time when fans wondered just how far the WWE would go to try and make fans forget he ever existed.

On a related note, the Peacock streaming service has removed several controversial segments that were originally available on the WWE Network including ones that were perceived as misogynistic or racist.

Some fans may feel that erasing such segments ignores wrestling's ugly side. Others feel there's no need to be reminded of these exercises in bad taste (or worse). This isn't limited to wrestling as all forms of entertainment have come up short at times in realistically depicting people of other ethnicities, genders, and so on.

Nonetheless, it's a question that some wrestling fans will continue to debate. What do you think of MJF's comments and can you watch a wrestling match even if one (or more) of the wrestlers involved has a sordid past? 

Photo Credit: AEW