WWE and 2K Games have confirmed that WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan will not be appearing in the upcoming wrestling game WWE 2K16 after the performer was caught on tape in an expletive and racist filled rant hit the internet.
The move comes as WWE has begun to distance itself from Hogan after the tape, in which he uses the N-word several times and makes a number of racist remarks in regards to his daughter Brooke Hogan’s potential dating habits surfaced online. WWE has also removed him from the WWE website, as well as confirmed that he will no longer be appearing in the ongoing reality series Tough Enough, on which he was formerly a judge. Speaking in a statement, WWE said:
“We are highly respectful of the way that our partners choose to run their business and manage our partnerships accordingly. We can confirm that Hulk Hogan will not appear in WWE 2K16.”
On top of being removed from the WWE website and Tough Enough, WWE have confirmed that they will no longer be selling any merchandise affiliated with Hulk Hogan, including Curtis Axel’s merchandise, which has been based on Hulk Hogan’s persona and looks for the past several months. Speaking on the matter himself, Hogan apologized for the language he used, issuing a statement. He also sent out a vague tweet not long before the tape emerged, leading many to theorize that he knew the tape was set to be released.
Speaking in his statement, he said that the language “was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it.”
In the storm I release control,God and his Universe will sail me where he wants me to be,one love. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 24, 2015
The tape of Hogan’s rant came about due to Hogan currently suing Gawker Media. Hogan is currently seeking $100 million from the website Gawker for posting part of the sex tape of him with Heather Cole, the ex-wife of Hogan’s one-time friend and radio show host Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.
Gawker, which removed the video from its website under a court order, said it had the right to publish the edited video because Hogan talked in detail about his sex life before the video’s release, which made the story newsworthy.