Jim Cornette Addresses NWA Resignation, Says Controversial NWA Powerrr Joke Wasn’t Racial
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On his latest episode of The Jim Cornette Experience, Jim Cornette discussed his resignation from the NWA and the outrage from his joke on the most recent episode of NWA Powerrr.
“About 7:30 p.m. or so, the phone rang,” explained Cornette. “I saw it was David Lagana … so I answer it and it’s a dial tone. I thought maybe he ass dialed me. I call him right back and immediately get his voice mail.” Cornette then finished up some work he was doing and went to bed for the night. Then on Wednesday he found out that he had “broken the God damn world.”
Cornette was confused as to what everyone was mad about and then he found that NWA had took the program down to edit out five seconds of the show and put out a press release condemning his comment. “I used the joke that I first coined for Big Bubba Rodgers that Murdoch was so tough that he could strap a bucket of fried chicken to his back and ride across Ethiopia on a motor scooter … That is why I trended on Twitter again, I told a 30-year-old Ethiopian joke about starvation. What in the f— is going on in the world?”
Then at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Cornette finally got ahold of Lagana. Cornette downplayed any racial connotations and said the joke was about “hungry people and Big Bubba or in this case Trevor Murdoch.” Lagana wanted an apology and statement from Cornette, but he can’t “apologize for something I didn’t say.” He brought up that it was a taped show and Lagana admitted it went past him when he edited the taped show. “If you give these people the idea that every time they complain about something that you’ll jump around and apologize for something … then they will do it all the time. He’s already proven they will do that.” Cornette also didn’t appreciate NWA saying that he had made an offensive comment as “there are levels of importance that these things should be assigned.”
Cornette said he can’t remember the joke’s complete origins as he might have stolen it from Richard Pryor or Sam Kinison, but he couldn’t find any evidence of that. Cornette referenced the 80s and that Ethiopian jokes were commonplace and every comedian was talking about it. He first made the joke to Bubba Rodgers at a chicken place.
He then explained the joke. “The motor scooter is there for the preposterous visual. He’s not gonna be in an armored car or he wouldn’t be in much danger. You’ve got a large man that is so tough that he isn’t afraid to take food to a famine ravaged location, you’ve got a preposterous means of transportation … and a bucket of chicken is a funnier visual than a plate of sushi or a damn ham sandwich. It just happened to be that because it was funny and it was Ethiopia because it’s a place with a starvation issue. It was a starvation joke. Not a race joke! Starvation is a hilarious topic. Whether it was a good joke or a bad joke, it was a joke that has been told on TBS, USA Network, broadcast television stations over a variety of locations for the past 30 years. The point is the joke … is suddenly not good for YouTube.”
Cornette brought up how nobody in the production crew had told him it was an issue then he’d feel differently about the subject, but instead they are catering towards online outrage. He mentioned the “South Park” episode “Starvin’ Marvin” about how Ethiopian starvation has been used in the past. He would have gladly not used the line again, but didn’t like NWA’s statement. He said it should have said, “Hey, one of the announcers told an old joke that was probably in poor taste. We missed it editing and it won’t happen again.” Cornette said he would have been on-board with that. He stressed that Lagana edited the show but didn’t include himself in the apology. “That was my issue there.”
The veteran announcer said the NWA position wasn’t fun for anyone involved anymore as it was becoming stressful for Cornette and the NWA. “If it ain’t fun for me because I have to be asked to apologize every two weeks … but this feedback was above and beyond the offense and I didn’t mean it in any racist way.” Cornette’s co-host, Brian Last, didn’t like the joke as it was outdated and said it was best to avoid jokes that equate Africans with fried chicken. Cornette understands that point, but is surprised by the reaction as he’s done that joke for 30 years. He said NWA should have trimmed the line or “apologized in a rational fashion for a bad joke.”
Cornette said that if he “apologized out the ass” that the people offended would find something else to be mad about the next week as they just don’t like him. “To anyone that was legitimately [offended] … and had taken the line [of thought] that it was funny years ago but not anymore, fine. I can get with that and would apologize with that. Not with ‘We’re gonna boil you in oil, you horrible human being!'” He says that the overreactions put him off and that it passed through several set of ears. “To the people that were mildly offended, I apologize since it wasn’t meant that way.”
To the topic of him resigning from the NWA, Cornette said that he was overshadowing the show and wasn’t fun for anyone now. “I’m not asking for people to not watch the NWA, it’s the opposite. Part of the reason I don’t want to be involved anymore is because I’m distracting them from what they’re trying to do.” Despite not liking their statement on the matter, Cornette still likes the organization and says they’re doing things the right way. “If you like the program, keep watching it whether I’m on or not. It’s a good show and it will get more fun as time goes along.”
Cornette said Lagana didn’t get a chance to fire him if he wanted to as he got “wound up and hung up on him.” He doesn’t want to be grouped in with these apologies in the future as he wants to either apologize when he actually is sorry or just “not give a f—,” and that nobody is paying him enough to “give a f—.”
Cornette ended the segment by saying that “to anyone that was legitimately offended by a bad joke and would accept a reasonable apology as humans sometimes do, yes, I’m sorry because as I didn’t intend it that way. To those that thought it was funny … then I don’t need to apologize. To people that think I was telling The Aristocrats joke and … that I was professing Nazi ideology and hate for a variety of people … f— you and I don’t care if you don’t like me. And that was the cause of this whole thing anyways.”
New Jim Cornette Experience is up! @TheJimCornette Jim into detail about his latest controversy and his departure from the NWA! Plus viewer mail and Jim's review of this week's Wednesday Night War! https://t.co/RdDcACW8Ke
— The Great Brian Last (@GreatBrianLast) November 22, 2019