WWE Pulls Arab Character From ‘SmackDown!’

Jul 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

WWE announced Thursday that its controversial Arab-American character Muhammad Hassan is unlikely to return after a final pro wrestling pay-per-view appearance, in part due to concerns from UPN.

The character, which some critics have characterized as insensitive and fanning negative sterotypes about Arab Americans and Muslims, came under scrutiny after the first set of London transit bombings earlier this month. The WWE, which has featured the character on its prime-time broadcast program on UPN, apparently came under more pressure to rethink the character’s role in its programming after a second set of terorist attacks in London on Thursday.

“Due to the unfortunate terrorist attacks in London on Thursday, July 7, which coincided with our pre-produced ‘WWE SmackDown!’ program, UPN has asked us to be sensitive to the usage of the Arab American character Muhammad Hassan,” the statement said. “We have agreed with UPN, and have not had the character on ‘SmackDown!’ since that date. It is uncertain as to whether or not the WWE will continue with this character beyond this Sunday’s pay-per-view, ‘The Great American Bash.'”