Glenn Beck doesn’t like the WWE’s latest storyline, and WWE wants him to come explain why.
The wrestling production company has cast wrestler Jack Swagger as a conservative, tea-party-ish villain with a xenophobic fictional manager, Zeb Coulter, in a Wrestlemania matchup against Latino star Alberto Del Rio. In the ring, Coulter went on an rant against immigrants, standing in front of yellow flags commonly flown at tea-party rallies. That sparked Beck’s ire.
On his show Wednesday, Beck accused WWE of degrading tea partiers with a racist, unrealistic caricature.
“I can take it from a lot of people. I can’t take it from the stupid wrestling people,” Beck said on his show. Beck suggested that WWE risks alienating much of its fan base, supposing WWE fans lean conservative.
WWE, in turn, essentially invited Beck to come explain his comments to a WWE audience.
“WWE has extended an invitation to talk show host and political commentator, Glenn Beck to appear live this Monday on Raw, in response to a segment that aired on TheBlaze TV yesterday,” WWE announced.
WWE went on, explaining its creation of an overtly racist character: “WWE is creating a rivalry centered on a topical subject that has varying points of view. This storyline was developed to build the Mexican American character Del Rio into a hero given WWE’s large Latino base, which represents 20 percent of our audience.”
In another twist, Swagger was arrested and charged in Gulfport, Miss., late Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported. At least one wrestling publication has speculated that WWE could choose to replace Swagger in the match — effectively granting Beck his wish that the xenophobic Wrestlemania storyline cease.
This post has been updated.