Jim Cornette took to his The Jim Cornette Experience podcast on Friday to address the controversial comments he made on a recent episode of NWA Powerrr, which resulted in his resignation from the NWA.
During the episode, Cornette said, “Trevor Murdoch is the only person who can strap a bucket of fried chicken to his back and ride a motor scooter across Ethiopia. Trevor Murdoch can take care of himself!”
Commenting on the comments, Cornette seemed unwavering by the situation.
“Some people that live under a rock may not have been bombarded by this,” Cornette began. “May not actually know what this f—ing 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.
“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—ing 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—ing 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.”
As previously mentioned, Cornette’s comments made it to the final broadcast, which ended up getting the episode temporarily pulled so NWA could edit the comments out.
“In this case, I said, ‘David [Lagana], 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—, 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—ing ? 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— I’m not necessarily sorry for.
“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— 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—ing 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—ing funny cause the people in Ethiopia were hungry.”
Cornette was then blunt about the fact that he found working with the NWA not fun anymore, and if it isn’t fun for him then he doesn’t want to be doing it.
“Another of the issues was that,” Cornette explained. “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—. 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— that I’m even not sorry for, to the degree the people are god-damn wanting me f—ing stuck up the ass with a god-damn f—ing 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—s 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 another issue that you’ve got. I, in no way, was thinking in that direction.”
Cornette did apologize to those who were genuinely offended, stating, “To anyone who was legitimately offended by a bad joke in kinda sort of a way and would accept a reasonable apology, as humans sometimes do ? yes, I’m sorry. Because I didn’t intend it that way.”
You can check out Cornette’s full comments in the video above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Jim Cornette Experience with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.