Unlike most wrestling fans, Monday is typically a quiet day for me. I don’t have cable and generally wait to watch Raw on Hulu or WWE Network. However, when I got home from work today, I saw something wrestling-related that fired me up a hundred times worse than those crummy Chamber matches last night: the image of Ethan Carter III’s face Photoshopped onto the body of Caitlyn Jenner. What shocked me even more was the source. The image wasn’t posted by some real-proud-of-himself-for-hitting-a-soft-target Twitter goon, but rather by Jeremy Borash, one of the faces of Impact Wrestling.
For many years, I’ve respected and admired Borash. He was a fan who made a career for himself in the wrestling business, which, let’s face it, all of us bloggers and live-tweeters and podcasters dream we maybe could’ve done, had the circumstances been just a little different. On top of that, Borash has spent more than a decade as a dutiful sailor on a perpetually sinking ship. I used to see him and think, “How many terrible ideas do you think that guy’s heard and smirked off?” I used to think that if I met him, maybe we could have a decent conversation.
Now, I realize that all that “nice guy who’s just like you” stuff was as big a work as any in wrestling, and Jeremy Borash is in fact just another bigoted hack going for homo- and transphobic guffawing belly laughs.
Is Caitlyn Jenner someone who sought out the spotlight and therefore fair game for satire? Sure, but the picture in question wasn’t satirical, it was just classic high school bullying. “You’re such a loser, I bet you don’t even appreciate being a man. I bet you’d love to be a woman in lingerie on the cover of a fashion magazine,” Borash essentially told Carter. The most offensive irony is that in the angle that’s been portrayed on TV over the last few months, it is Borash we’re supposed to sympathize with as the victim of Carter’s bullying.
If Borash conceived the joke, Photoshopped the image, and posted it all by himself, he deserves to get fired. If Borash conceived the joke and passed it off to someone else to do the Photoshop, both of them should be gone because that other person, even if it was a lowly intern, should’ve said, “No. I can’t do this.” If, God forbid, the image got the thumbs up from any other high-ups in Nashville, then really the whole company deserves mass boycott. It doesn’t take a lawyer or a public relations expert (which, by the way, Dixie Carter claims to be) to realize that mocking the sexually disenfranchised in public is not cool, smart, kind, or fundamentally decent.
This I swear: I will never watch an episode of Impact Wrestling again. I will never buy a ticket to a TNA event again. I will never buy a TNA t-shirt again. I will never write about TNA ever again.