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10 Times WWE Blatantly Used Racist Stereotypes

10. Kamala, The Ugandan Giant

WWE.com

Kamala was actually a creation of Jerry Lawler's for his Memphis territory, an uncouth, uncivilised sub-Saharan African stereotype exaggerated to its maximum extent from a Frank Frazetta painting of the same theme. It was as reductive as it could possibly get, with James Harris' character presented as more animal than human, with a faint grasp of the rules of wrestling and entirely incommunicado save for a series of unintelligible wails.

Vince McMahon saw no issue whatsoever with porting the gimmick over to New York wholesale, with the addition of a handler Kim Chee, a pith hat wearing explorer straight from the Heart of Darkness. For his second run with WWF, Kamala was deemed ideal foil for The Undertaker, a native African apparent slotting besides the usual 'monster' role just perfectly.

Perversely, Kamala came out of the feud sympathetically, terrified at The Undertaker's ominous shroud of darkness whilst clearly under the yolk of his 'helpers'. Nevertheless, he was stuffed in a casket, and the kids loved it.

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Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.