Hulkster vs. Gawker: The Rematch
May 6, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen. Terry “Not Hulk Hogan” Bollea isn’t quite done with Gawker Media. Since the Hulkster’s last legal big boot and atomic leg drop netted him a $140 million dollar verdict, he’s demanded a rematch against Gawker for allegedly leaking audio that “destroyed his career.”
[The] famous pro wrestler has filed a second lawsuit over his surreptitiously recorded sex tapes — hitting the site with a new claim for allegedly leaking sealed court documents to the National Enquirer that quoted him making racists remarks.
In a 2007 encounter with his best friend’s wife, Hogan unleashed an ugly tirade about his daughter Brooke’s black boyfriend.
The man who made a career out of telling children to “train, say your prayers, and eat your vitamins” wasn’t happy his daughter was dating a black man, and wasn’t shy in telling his best friend’s wife about it during a sexual tryst leading to the first Gawker lawsuit. Once audio leaked of Bollea’s tirade, replete with numerous usages of the word Larry Wilmore recently used in an address to President Obama, his employers decided it was time to send Bollea packing.
“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers, and fans worldwide.”
Never mind this company’s idea of embracing diversity includes branding famous Luchadors as migrant landscapers, fully equipped with their own riding lawn mowers, turning black men into African tribal warriors, and casting an Italian American from New Jersey as a Muslim-American with a special suicide bomber squad after September 11th. Audio from an eight year old recording merited scrubbing Hogan from the history books of the company that made him famous.
“On WWE.com, Hogan is no longer listed on the WWE Hall of Fame page, and all of his merchandise has also been removed from WWEShop.com. The only thing currently remaining that mentions Hogan involves WWE’s upcoming Australian tour, which Hogan was scheduled to take part in as general manager. However, when any attempt to access this page is made, a message appears stating “you are not authorized to access this page.”
The scrubbing, distancing, and shaming routine is common in our modern era of outrage culture. In Hogan’s case, however, it meant the wrestler, movie star, and reality TV icon could no longer earn a viable income, according to language in the new complaint.
His “income was cut off, his legacy in entertainment was severely damaged (if not completely destroyed), and his global brand was forever tarnished,” the new Florida suit says.
Bollea’s legal team apparently forgets a time in 1996 when he told fans to “stick it.” If that’s not enough damage, there’s the time he demanded full control over all his matches during contract negotiations with a former employer. Then there’s always Pastamania and the Hulk Hogan Grill, if one wants to consider Bollea’s bad business decisions. Bollea’s reputation, legacy, and brand weren’t tarnished by the sex tape audio. He’s done just fine ruining all that on his own.
Bollea’s newest suit is in the earliest stages, so it’s unclear whether he’ll be afforded the same leniency from the first trial, like wearing “one plain black bandana” as part of his courtroom attire. This new professional victimhood status doesn’t suit Bollea well, and his continued legal swerves on Gawker Media reinforce the truth of a quote from one of Hogan’s former co-workers.
“And on a personal note, Hulk Hogan, your name may be a household word, but so is garbage, and that stinks when it gets old too.”