WWE on Auschwitz Pic Used in Promo: We Had No Idea

Company apologizes after Auschwitz Memorial officials blast use of image in WrestleMania promo
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2023 1:19 PM CDT
Updated Apr 7, 2023 8:20 AM CDT
It's the WWE vs. Auschwitz Memorial
People attend a ceremony in the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz during ceremonies marking the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in Brzezinka, Poland, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.   (AP Photo/Michal Dyjuk)
UPDATE Apr 7, 2023 8:20 AM CDT

The WWE quietly scrubbed an image of Auschwitz used to promote a WrestleMania match last weekend after instant outrage from the masses, and now the organization is finally speaking up about the offensive flub. "We had no knowledge of what was depicted," the WWE said in a statement to the Washington Post published Friday. "As soon as we learned, it was removed immediately." The footage had shown one of the fighters in the match proclaiming, "I served hard time. And I survived," before transitioning to a picture of the Polish concentration camp where more than a million people, mostly Jews, perished during the Holocaust. The Auschwitz Memorial, which had rebuked the WWE for using the photo, pointed out in a tweet that some of the victims imprisoned at Auschwitz were forced to wrestle "as entertainment for SS guards," adding: "Remember them with us."

Apr 6, 2023 1:19 PM CDT

Days after WrestleMania 39, the WWE has queued up a new match: WWE vs. the Auschwitz Memorial. The memorial in Poland has taken issue with the WWE for airing an image of the former concentration camp in a promo of Saturday's WrestleMania contest between Dominik Mysterio and his WWE Hall-of-Famer father Rey Mysterio. As NPR reports, the image "was used as b-roll accompanying Dominik's comments about being a hardened criminal" during the WrestleMania pre-show. Indy100 describes "scores of horrified Twitter commentators" who pointed out the apparent mistake.

"Hoo boy, to be a fly on the wall in the next production meeting," wrote a Reddit user, per NPR. Other observers said the WWE must have quickly become aware of the controversy as the image was missing from the promo that aired during the official broadcast, per Wrestling Observer. The WWE made no comment on the promo or the change, however. In a Wednesday statement, the Auschwitz Memorial said it was hard to see the situation as an editing error. "Exploiting the site that became a symbol of enormous human tragedy is shameless and insults the memory of all victims of Auschwitz," it tweeted. (More WWE stories.)

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