Shane Taylor Doesn’t Want Wrestling To Put People In Boxes, Explains The Importance Of Complex Characters
Ahead of his Ring of Honor World Championship Match against RUSH, Shane Taylor shared his belief that professional wrestling still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity.
Taylor recently spoke with Scott Fishman of TV Insider and pointed to lackluster to management for perpetuating stereotypes on wrestling programming.
“We’ve taken steps forward,” said Taylor. “I don’t think talent has ever been an issue. The issue comes in with management. They end up stereotyping Black people into roles that can be readily identifiable or comfortable with the masses. It doesn’t work when you’re only putting people into a box. If you can create multilayered characters for guys like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or Triple H, then you can do it for Bobby Lashley or Kofi Kingston, or Keith Lee.”
Taylor described that adding diverse voices to the creative team would open up the possibility that wrestling could feature more realistic characters.
“Put people on the creative team who understand these cultures,” said Taylor. “That would give a more authentic version of these characters fans can relate to because you’re not giving them a cookie-cutter version of some Black person. It’s not a caricature of the culture. You get to see what these talents have.”
Taylor also reflected on his own experience in the wrestling industry. He stated that he wanted to represent a relatable person rather than a harmful stereotype.
“I knew that a lot of the characters who looked like me on TV, I couldn’t relate to,” said Taylor. “What I wanted to do was represent someone that people like myself could relate to. I wasn’t being a stereotype. I wasn’t trying to promote the destructive aspects of our culture as so many media platforms do.
“For me, it’s a breath of fresh air that through all the obstacles and the roadblocks, we’re on the verge of making history and climbing this mountain. I couldn’t be any happier because it’s not just me, but my team, my culture that gets to see me on this platform.”
As a newly crowned Ring of Honor World Six-Man Tag Team Champion, Taylor continues to capitalize on his prominent platform in Ring of Honor.