Glenn Beck has given TheBlaze his response to an invitation from World Wrestling Entertainment to appear on Monday Night Raw live in Dallas next week: “Unfortunately, I am currently booked doing anything else.”
Beck and the WWE have directed comments at each other over the past week after the wrestling organization introduced two Tea Party-inspired characters, “Jack Swagger” and “Zeb Colter.”
The WWE first extended an invitation to Beck through a statement Friday after the radio host criticized the new characters on his show Wednesday for depicting tea partiers as racially insensitive villains, in turn “demonizing the Tea Party.” Beck went on to question the WWE’s motives when portraying the Tea Party this way, noting his belief that most wrestling fans are likely not progressives.
“Maybe that’s the way WWE people view the Tea Party. And maybe they love to hate the Tea Party. But I have to tell you, I expect that from Hollywood, but I don’t expect ‑‑ if I’m getting my entertainment from somebody that I think is on my side ‑‑ and I’m sorry, I just don’t see a bunch of progressives going and buying their tickets to the WWE. Do you?” Beck posited Wednesday.
“I mean, and maybe there are. I tend to notice that the progressives are not as popular in the South unless they’ve moved from the North. So I’m just trying to figure out exactly who they’re trying to appeal here, who they’re appealing to.”
In a video released on the official WWE YouTube page Friday evening, the wrestlers broke character to address Beck and his comments. After first calling out Swagger’s upcoming WrestleMania opponent in a cartoonish minute-and-a-half promo, performers Wayne Keown (Colter) and Jake Hager (Swagger) address Beck directly to clarify that they are not political commentators, rather entertainers.
“We aren’t in the political business, or the immigration business. We are in the entertainment business,” Keown says. He goes on to list the size and demographics of the WWE audience, and the reasoning behind the storylines of characters like Colter and Swagger.
“We have about 60 characters on our show — a lot more than say NCIS or Glee — but we’re not that much different. Some of our characters are really likable and some are detestable — good guys and bad guys,” Keown says. “We don’t use guns, and we don’t depict murder or rape, typically seen on primetime dramas. Our program is PG.”
“Many of your followers are WWE fans and they understand the difference between reality and entertainment,” Keown adds.
“Are you out of touch with your audience Glenn? Or are you just a ‘stupid political commentator?’”
At the end of the video, Keown invites Beck once again to appear on Raw in Dallas Monday, and after Friday’s video, says the radio host can deliver a five-minute, unedited rebuttal to their global television audience and a sold-out crowd.
Watch the video message from Keown/Colter and Hager/Swagger to Glenn Beck below: