On the episode, he said that Trevor Murdoch was “the only person who can strap a bucket of fried chicken to his back and ride a motor scooter across Ethiopia” when talking about how tough the wrestler is.
The subsequent outcry led to Cornette resigning from the company, but he isn’t sorry for making the joke. According to Cornette, per 411Mania, he’s been using the same joke for decades, and when it first originated, everyone was joking about the same subject.
“[B]ecause Ethiopia was noted for a place where everybody’s f**king starving, it’s a starvation joke, not a race joke. Starvation. Starvation’s a hilarious topic. But everyone was doing them. So point is … whether it’s a good joke or a bad joke, it was a joke that has been told on TBS, USA Network, broadcast television stations across America over a variety of locations for the past 30 years.”
The announcer believes that fried chicken is a funnier visual image than other foods, which is why he used it in the joke. He also noted that he may have stolen the joke from Richard Pryor, but he isn’t certain where it originated from.
Cornette revealed that he isn’t going to apologize every time that someone on Twitter gets offended. According to the announcer, if he did that, he’d always be apologizing and bucking to their demands.
Cornette also said that the people who took offence to his comments were all AEW fans with a penchant for cosplaying. The announcer has been vocal about his dislike of AEW and some of its wrestlers in the past because he believes they don’t take the business seriously.
He also stated that the treatment he’s received for making the joke is akin to someone who “boil[s] babies” or watches “bestiality videos.” In other words, he thinks people are overreacting.
Cornette first used the joke while commentating during a Bubba Rogers match in the 1980s. He’s repeated it on television throughout the years, but this is the first time that it’s caused any outrage.
As documented by Wrestling Inc, this isn’t Cornette’s first scandal of 2019. He came under fire this year for making comments about AEW’s Sonny Kiss that were deemed as homophobic, so clearly, he is no stranger to controversy.