Independent talent AJ Gray recently did an interview with Wrestling Inc, were he talked about the need for representation in pro wrestling, and calls out AEW saying that they need to practice what they preach.
Check out the highlights below.
AJ Gray on the lack of diversity among AEW’s male talent:
“With WWE I don’t get time to watch as I’ve got to work every day. AEW – they preached – when they started their company how different everything would be, how diverse it would be and all of this stuff. I even talked about it on Twitter – if you look at them – one singles wrestler that’s a black male. Now with their women’s division, they’re actually doing something decent with that as they have quite a few with different backgrounds in their division. They have quite a few women with a different ethnic background but when you look at the males, it’s almost like it’s no one. It’s Scorpio Sky and the African Americans they did use, they get about 2 minutes and 50 seconds on Dark. They get beat up really fast and that’s it. Is that all you think of that talent? Come on now, give them a legitimate chance. You gave Alan Angels a legitimate chance against Kenny Omega and now you signed him. What’s stopping you from doing that with Suge D or someone else?”
AJ Gray on the use of African-American talent in WWE:
“It’s not really a one particular person thing. It’s just a fact of the matter that it’s so little. I don’t wanna sound like I’m picking a side right now. WWE has been guilty of doing really messed up things to African Americans. But they also have been ahead of the curve a little bit when it comes to using African Americans. MVP and Lashley aren’t new names. They were there 10+ years ago? They were doing great things and now they’re actually getting a chance to run with stuff. Mark Henry getting a chance to run with stuff. A lot of people getting a chance to run with stuff. Then you have to still think about the ACH situation. It’s like, yes, they are doing good but they can be better. It’s just stuff like that.”
AJ Gray on what needs to be done to improve representation in wrestling:
“To be honest, if you wanted to change things completely you need black people in power. You need more than just black wrestlers as you need black producers and black executives. People that actually know how it feels so they know what to and what not to do. Black writers – you’ll see these weird gimmicks and you’re like, ‘What are you trying to do?’ We know that’s not what we do. That’s the way we look at it as the black community. But if you have a black writer with an actual background in that situation, he knows what to do. You can’t sit here and tell me – and I hate to say it like this – 20 to 40 year old white males or females can tell us about how to be black. They’ve never been black a day in their life so how are you gonna write that. You don’t know.”