WWE: 10 Shockingly Racist Gimmicks That Made Fans' Jaws Drop

4. Akeem The African Dream

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsWTww8E2P4 Wrestler George Gray was a large man. He entered the WWE in 1987 as a big smelly biker and defeated many lower card wrestlers and jobbers, but when he was put up against higher card wrestlers like Savage and Hogan, he was usually defeated. In an effort to bolster his flagging career, his manager Slick announced in 1988 that Gray was actually from Africa and was now embracing his African roots. This involved Gray being interviewed by Gene Okerlund, dressed in African garb, dancing in a mocking fashion to an African tribal dance and speaking in a hackneyed black accent. This was filmed in an American ghetto dubbed 'The deepest, darkest parts of Africa'. This was just wrong on so many levels. It pokes fun at starvation in Africa by calling a big fat white man 'The African Dream,' it pokes fun of Africans in general whether black or white and it pokes fun at African Americans through the stereotyping of their speech. But Akeem got away with it! It must have been acceptable on some level for the character to have lasted for around two years despite his terrible racial stereotypy, but if such a character was created today, there would be widespread outrage. It was such a godawful gimmick, it was sublime. Akeem formed a tag team partnership with Big Boss Man and did ok before until Boss Man turned on his partner and beat him at Wrestlemania VI. Due to a floundering career, Gray left the WWE and his 'funky' (according to the WWE official website) Akeem character behind him.
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My first film watched was Carrie aged 2 on my dad's knee. Educated at The University of St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin. Fan of Arthouse, Exploitation, Horror, Euro Trash, Giallo, New French Extremism. Weaned at the bosom of a Russ Meyer starlet. The bleaker, artier or sleazier the better!

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