Jim Cornette Addresses His Racist Comments and NWA Firing


Welp, Jim Cornette took to his podcast on Friday and was far from apologetic. Basically, it simply comes down to Cornette not wanting to adapt to the times. Obviously, his comments weren’t going to go over well these days and they came across as extremely racist no matter the era. On the latest edition of NWA Powerrr, Cornette said, “the only person who can strap a bucket of fried chicken to his back and ride a motor scooter across Ethiopia.”

Anyways, you can check out some highlights and audio from the podcast below:

On the joke: “Some people that live under a rock may not have been bombarded by this, may not actually know what this f**king uproar was about. It was because during the match between Trevor Murdoch and Nick Aldis, I used the joke that I first coined for Big Bubba Rogers, ‘Dick Murdoch is so tough, he could strap a bucket of fried chicken on his back and ride a motor scooter across Ethiopia.’ That’s what happened. This is why I broke Twitter again. I told a 30 year-old Ethiopian joke about starvation.”

On talking with Dave Lagana about it: So right as I’m trying to digest all this, the phone rings. It’s 8:30 in the morning, and it’s David Lagana. I said ‘What in the f**k is going on?’ And he tells me that, obviously, the All Elite Wrestling cosplay wrasslin’ fanboy fangirl contingent immediately after the show was over started tweeting about this and creating an uproar like I had been describing my favorite bestiality videos on a f**king live broadcast. This was the level of f**king hatred. And the other people are going, ‘What the f**k are you talking about? It’s a joke, we get it. He’s told it before for 30 f**king years. It’s about hungry people, or Big Bubba, or in this case Trevor Murdoch.’ So at any rate, David is talking about, ‘Well, an apology and a statement, and this and that.’”

On the show being taped and his not agreeing with NWA’s handling of it: ‘In this case, I said, ‘David, this was a taped show.’ I said, ‘What did you think about it when you heard it?’ He said, ‘Well, it went right past me.’ I said, ‘You think?’ I said, ‘Why was there this level of, ‘Well, they were so upset on Twitter?” That’s another thing I talked about with him before. If you give these people the idea that every time they complain about something you’ll just jump around apologizing, whether it was said or whether it was meant in a bad way or whatever the f**k, then they will do it all the time. And he’s already proven that he will do that. That was brought up. And also, I mentioned I don’t appreciate — as I said, ‘one of our talents making an offensive statement’ or ‘offensive comments’ like I was f**king — the level of disgust is like I was boiling babies to sacrifice in service of Satan on live television. And I said, “I don’t appreciate being grouped on all these apologies for s**t I’m not necessarily sorry for.”

On the origin of the line: ‘I can’t remember whether I stole it or not. Somebody said it might be Richard Pryor, but we couldn’t find evidence of that. I always remember that I made it up because in the ’80s, which you might not recall because you’re not very old, everybody was telling Ethiopian jokes because it was huge news on a mainstream basis. It was — it wasn’t ‘We are the World, it was … Live Aid was for the Ethiopian famine. Every comic on television was making Ethiopian jokes. Every kid in school was making Ethiopian jokes … Somebody said, ‘Well, if he hadn’t have said chicken it would have been fine.’ Well, a bucket of chicken sounds funnier, it’s a funnier visual, than a f**king plate of sushi, or a goddamned ham sandwich. So it just happened to be that, because that was funny. And then, because Ethiopia was noted for a place where everybody’s f**king starving, it’s a starvation joke, not a race joke. Starvation. Starvation’s a hilarious topic. But everyone was doing them. So point is … whether it’s a good joke or a bad joke, it was a joke that has been told on TBS, USA Network, broadcast television stations across America over a variety of locations for the past 30 years.”

On the lack of an initial reaction from NWA: “Besides the fact that when I said it, Joe Galli was sitting next to me, he didn’t clutch his heart and fall over or s**t his pants. Nobody in the control room thought to pull the plug like they did when I mentioned Ronnie and the Challenger. Nobody remarked on the comment afterwards. And in the six weeks that the show’s been sitting in the can and then gone through the editing process, and got ready for broadcast, nobody thought to bring it up. So when I asked Dave, I said, ‘What’d you think when you heard me,’ he said, ‘Well, it went right past me.’ You think?!? Because nobody thought anything about it when they heard it, because it’s a f**king old joke. If anywhere during that process, if when I had said it, the producer – one of whom is Dave Lagana, but there’s a variety of people that can talk to us on our headsets – had said, ‘Awww, Jim. Don’t say that.’ ‘Ok, sorry.’ If after the show, ‘Well, we’re gonna have to take out that one joke out,’ ‘Okay, fine. Sorry to make you have extra work,’ right? If anybody called me up and said, ‘Jim, you told that joke you’ve told a bunch of times, well that’s racist.’ ‘Okay, I didn’t know that.’ Cause I was thinking it was f**king funny cause the people in Ethiopia were hungry.”

On his work with the NWA not being fun because of this kind of thing: “Another of the issues was that, to be honest, this was rapidly, as I said to him, I think the quote was, ‘Becoming not fun anymore.’ For anybody! I’m sure they don’t wanna go through this s**t. But the only reason I was doing this program, it was not as a career, it was because I like the NWA, I like old-fashioned wrestling. I wanted to help the program and have some fun. I was being compensated, but this is not gonna affect my standard of living. It was about just doing something once in a while that was contributing to a program that’s actually trying to do wrestling. So if it ain’t fun for me.. because I gotta put up with every two weeks being asked to apologize for s**t that I’m even not sorry for, to the degree the people are god-damn wanting me f**king stuck up the ass with a god-damn f**king telephone pole and swung around downtown. I’m not that sorry. Because it was a joke, and if you don’t like the joke, that’s fine. And I’d even apologize for a bad joke. But this goddamn feedback was above and beyond the offense. And I didn’t mean it in any racist way, for f**ks sake. I think the people that took it instantly as racist think that must be the only thing on people’s minds when they think of black people and chicken. Which, that’s a whole ‘nother issue that you’ve got … I, in no way, was thinking in that direction.”

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