Jerry Lawler has been no stranger to controversy over his 40-plus year career, and "The King" found some more of it this week with the release of the latest edition of his podcast, Dinner With The King.
Lawler was asked about the on-going movement in the United States of past victims of sexual assault coming out pubicly. The movement has been brought on most notably in both the political and entertainment worlds, but it's been happening in all walks of life with the "#MeToo" hashtag that has been circulating.
Wrestling (including the WWE) has always been an industry with its share of sex scandals, so Lawler's co-host (Glenn Moore) asked him if he thought there would be any revelations of past sexual assault in the world of wrestling.
“It appears that eventually anybody that’s ever flirted with anybody, or had any kind of sexual contact with anybody, is all of a sudden you could potentially be a target in the future," Lawler said.
It seemed that Lawler's co-host felt that Jerry maybe didn't understand the nature of his question. He asked him again, emphasizing he is referring to serious sexual assault. Something like waking up to a sex act unknowingly being performed on them. This caused Lawler to laugh, saying that reminded him of when wrestlers would be pranking each other by taking photos of their genitals next to their sleeping friend's face.
“At the time, you’re thinking ‘this is totally harmless.’ But then all of a sudden, 15-years-later, that photograph shows up somewhere and it’s gonna offend somebody. That’s the way the country has become. Everything 99% of the people may think is done in jest, or whatever, and all of a sudden that 1% out there is gonna be offended by it. And that 1% can speak up as loudly as the other 99% cannot.”
Lawler is clearly misreading the country and the seriousness of sexual assault if he thinks that "99 percent" of the country are okay with the (strongly corraborated) allegations against people like Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, and so many others.
The co-host tried one more time to rephrase his question, emphasizing that he is talking about someone using their position of authority to entice an unwanted sex act. Lawler denied ever hearing of something like that happening in the business.
Lawler then used this topic to bring up something else that has bothered him lately, and that is being unable to talk on-air like he did during the Attitude Era. He views this as being a problem with PC culture. He said that bra and panties matches used to be the highlight of the shows (they were?), and quipped that "we've gone so far now" that women have to be treated "the same as the men" by not being called Divas.
You can hear the full exchange below.
[H/T to Pro Wrestling Sheet for the transcript.]