Now that WWE Network is shutting down and NBCUniversal has grabbed the full catalog for its new streaming service, someone has a lot of work ahead of them. Peacock, according to a new report, is scanning the full wrestling video library to find and edit out racist content, of which there is a fairly substantial amount.
Anyone who spent the ’90s watching WWE wrestling will be familiar with the racist content that made its way onto the show, including some long segments before matches. These episodes were made available unedited on WWE Network, but now that the series is coming to Peacock, they’ll be sanitized before release.
That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, which claims that Peacock is reviewing the full 17,000 hours’ worth of video to remove the problematic content. The sources behind the report allege that Peacock is alerting WWE to any edits made to the episodes before they’re released to stream.
It’s no secret that the WWE videos contain a fair number of racist segments and moments ranging from strange and brief to prolonged. Based on the report, the editing seems to have involved scrubbing some matches entirely from episodes, though it’s unclear how extensively the company is censoring the content.
Peacock has deviated from the trend established by other streaming services, which involves providing movies and TV shows with problematic content intact, opting to show a content warning before the program starts. This may be due to the particularly egregious nature of some of the racist WWE segments, but Peacock hasn’t elaborated on its reasoning.