Disney isn’t the only media giant struggling to cope racism in its back catalog now that he’s running a streaming service. Hollywood journalist sources and PWInsider say NBCUniversal peacock removes racist scenes from the classic WWE Matches. While it’s unclear exactly how much has been edited so far, the deletions include blackface in the Wrestlemania VI event of the 1990s as well as racist language in Survivor Series 19 of 2005.
Peacock would go through WWE’s full 17,000 hours of gear and alert the wrestling giant of any changes. These moments appeared in versions of WWE Network.
It’s not a completely surprising move when wrestling has pushed and crossed boundaries for years. However, it also highlights the challenges of filling streaming libraries with material that is decades old. The services want to lure you in with full collections, but that risks bringing up racist content that these companies would rather forget.
Disney + and HBO Max have taken relatively gentle approaches, limiting children’s access to racist material or addition of disclaimers while leaving the videos largely unpublished. Peacock appears to be considerably stricter, at least in response to WWE – he is cutting out segments outright rather than trying to contextualize bad behavior. It’s increasingly clear that you’ll see a variety of efforts to clean up or justify videos in the future.