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UPN censors free speech!!! Government behind it?

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posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 03:25 PM
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MOHAMMAD HASSAN BANNED FROM UPN TELEVISION

This is one of the most ridiculas violations of our rights I've seen in a long time. Muhammad Hassan plays an Arab AMERICAN on WWE(World Wrestling Entertainment) Smackdown who has been persecuted his whole life. Recently he has been barred from appearing on UPN television. The reason for this was because of a somewhat contraversial skit that was aired the day after the London bombings. The skit was, however, recorded BEFORE the bombings, and was aired thursday BY UPN along with several disclaimers. UPN could have edited the skit out of the broadcast, but they chose to air it reguardless. The skit itself featured Hassan "sacraficing" his sidekick, Davari, to the Undertaker, when all of sudden 5 or 6 guys in ski masks come out and proceeded to give Undertaker a beating which included one of the men choking him with wire. They then carry Davari over their heads out of the arena, sacraficial ceremony style. Because of this, Hassan has been labeled a "terrorist wrestler" and WWE got a lot of bad press. Now all of a sudden, UPN, who chose to air the skit in the first place, has demanded Hassan can not appear on their network ever again. Keep in mind that they are owned by the very same company as Comedy central and MTV, networks that are known to be contraversial at times. With the amount of disclaimers aired throughout the entire broadcast of Smackdown, how anyone could still watch and get offended is beyond me. Do they not understand that it is a WRESTLING ANGLE? It is not real, and honestly I thought it was perfectly fine. Wrestling is an art form, and should really not be censored because of political pressure. Sure the skit was tasteless, and I could see them asking him to tone it down, but to just outright ban him? This was obviously done due to media & government pressure, and is honestly just a case of bad timing. They obviously do not want an arab speaking his mind on TV, especially when he touches on very real issues, and is correct 90% of the time. He has trashed the biased American media on several occasions. Now, Vince Macmahon has even succombed to the pressure and mostly likely Hassan will not ever be on WWE programming again, including Raw, which airs on Spike TV. A week after the skit, Hassan came out on smackdown and responded to the all the bad press. He basically took a huge dump on the articles and the people who wrote them, and denounced that he was a terrorist. He showed beyond the shadow of a doubt how the media was biased and racist by associating an arab with terrorism. UPN refused to air it even though he was 100% correct. Hassan was one of my favorite characters in WWE currently, and getting rid of him is a tragedy. You might as well, take the constitution and throw it right in the garbage. As of this day forward, I will not watch anything aired on UPN. How long is this kind of stuff going to continue?




posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 03:39 PM
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Wow what a great publicity stunt.

Stupid wrestling.

I have nothing more to say than I never watched UPN anyways.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 03:41 PM
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This is an interesting situation.

There are a few bits of background information everyone should know.

1) The WWE is "Sports Entertainment", and is considered a fictional program.

2) The characters, while indeed athletes, are not playing "themselves" but rather characters created by the creative development team of WWE.

3) The man who plays the character of Muhammad Hassan is not of Arabic descent.

4) Shawn Daivari, Hassan's assistant is actually Iranian born.

5) The Smackdown program is aired by UPN on Thursday night, but it taped on Tuesday nights.

In defense of WWE, the 7/7 episode of Smackdown was recorded on 7/5, and those familiar with the production tasks necessary to simulate something being live understand that editing out a scene that was prominently featured in the episode and replacing it with another scene made to look live is impossible.

It's a crappy situation. UPN, many of its viewers and advertisers were understandably upset. The disclaimer WWE pasted on was not considered enough.

This storyline had been going on for a while and had upset quite a few people, but the intention was misread by the media. The purpose of the storyline according to WWE Creative was to give an accurate portrayal of the problems faced by Arab Americans since 9/11. It did that, but it did it too dead on, and upset viewers from day one.

The fans took to booing Hassan simply because he was Arabic hearkening back to the days of booing Soviet wrestlers in the 80s.

It was an ill-fated gimmick and I'm not surprised UPN went bonkers. Look for the WWE to kill the character off and have the actor return as someone else. They do it all the time.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 03:45 PM
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The following is WWE Statment on the Hassan character:



WWE Statement Concerning Muhammad Hassan
Due to the unfortunate terrorist attacks in London on Thursday, July 7, which coincided with our pre-produced WWE SmackDown! program, UPN has asked us to be sensitive to the usage of the Arab-American character, Muhammad Hassan. We have agreed with UPN, and have not had the character on SmackDown! since that date. It is uncertain as to whether or not the WWE will continue with this character beyond The Great American Bash Pay-Per-View which aired on July 24.
The characters of Muhammad Hassan and Khosrow Daivari are U.S. citizens of Arab descent who have grown up in America. Hassan and Daivari have spoken out about the challenges and poor treatment they have faced being Arab-Americans in a post 9/11 America. They have taken these complaints, and the way they express them, to the extreme, insulting their country, their fellow Americans and the U.S. troops to the point where they have drawn the resentment of their fellow Superstars and WWE fans.

In the real world, WWE believes that no matter what our race, religious creed or ethnic background in America, we all share the common bond of being Americans. American-Arabs are a part of the fabric of America, and they should be embraced by all of us


WWE Corporate Response on Hassan

Barcs, You need to remember that Hassan is a character and not a real person. Yes, he and his partner may well be Arab Americans but they were playing roles that were preying on the fears of people and what is being played over and over again in the news.
The movement of the character Hassan was going to happen sooner of later. Even the Iron Shiek was not as outrageous as Hassan.
If the character Hassan was a real person with a real message then yes, I would agree with you that his removal is wrong, but since he is not then there is nothing to say. To believe that this is a sign of censorship is the same thing as the re-working of the Spiderman movie to remove scenes that depicted the Twin Towers, is a sign of censorship.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 04:01 PM
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WOW this really sucks. I am a BIG fan of Hassan and I thought his character was entertanining. He made an excellent heel (heel = bad guy in wrestling). It was pretty ballsy of WWE to put a character like Hassan on the air and allow him to speak his mind. I am disgusted at UPN for doing this and I hope the outrage this may cause in WWE fans causes UPN to change its mind.



posted on Jul, 27 2005 @ 08:15 PM
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Well, after the undertaker last ride him....

He kinda out for at least a few mths.

All these wrestling + Poltics is making me going nuts (-___-;

Go WWE webby and check out Addressing Hassen by Long.

[edit on 27-7-2005 by Humster]



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 10:11 AM
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You guys really need to fix this message board.. When I quote text it erases everything I've written in my post. Come on now....

There is a glimpse of hope. Raw moves to USA network in october. What a perfect time/place for a comeback.



Barcs, You need to remember that Hassan is a character and not a real person. Yes, he and his partner may well be Arab Americans but they were playing roles that were preying on the fears of people and what is being played over and over again in the news.


OF COURSE I KNOW HE'S A CHARACTER. I've been watching wrestling for years. Give me some credit here. His character was not a "terrorist" it was an arab AMERICAN (which is emphasized). But in all seriousness. Who the hell cares? Wrestling is like a soap opera. You have good guys and bad guys. He was the perfect bad guy. Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein have been portrayed in cartoons and other sketches as bad guys for a long time now, ironically by the same company that owns UPN. I really didn't hear any complaints.

The thing that angers me, was when he first debuted the crowd did say a word. The were dead silent until he said, "Praise to Allah". Then the whole crowd erupted with boos. He then became a heel. Now you tell me. How closed minded is that? They boo a man the instant he mentions allah? That is very sad, and truley defines the mindstate of America at the moment, which is indeed prejudiced against Arabs, including Arab americans, when all people should be treated equally. When Hassan calls America & the media racist, he is 100% accurate.



[edit on 28-7-2005 by Barcs]



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by Barcs
Yeah they already did kill the character at the last pay per view. There is a glimpse of hope though because in October they move to USA network. What a perfect time for him to make a comeback.



I'm pretty sure that's only their other program, Raw which is on Monday nights. As far as I'm aware I believe UPN is still keeping Smackdown. Hussen was recently "traded" from Raw to Smackdown. They are trying to appear as though they are two seperate companies, with different wrestlers who never cross over and fight a wrestler from another show. So the changes made to the Raw program would not effect what happens to Smackdown.



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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Nah, they have people switch shows all the time. They have interpromotional matches as well. They consider Raw and Smackdown 2 different brands of the same company. Smackdown is being screwed by UPN in other ways too, because they are changing their timeslot to friday nights. Their contract with UPN runs out in 2006 (i think the beginning) and so far there is no intent of renewing. Raw's contract with Spike TV is up in September.



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by Barcs
Nah, they have people switch shows all the time. They have interpromotional matches as well. They consider Raw and Smackdown 2 different brands of the same company. Smackdown is being screwed by UPN in other ways too, because they are changing their timeslot to friday nights. Their contract with UPN runs out in 2006 (i think the beginning) and so far there is no intent of renewing. Raw's contract with Spike TV is up in September.


Not that I'm gonna get into a debate with you about wrestling, but they don't have interpromotional matches all the time, very rarely if at all. And also, they only do trades once a year, which was the "draft" that was taking place a few weeks ago where about 5 or 6 wrestlers switched shows.



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 11:23 AM
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I am annoyed at this whole situation too, i admit the charecter was a little edgy, but as long as things were kept in check, it should have been ok. However, the stunt with the masked men and the sacrafice should never have been done, at any time, and WWE really put there foot in it with that!

It is sad too, because Muhhamed Hassan has been a great addition to WWE, and has been doing really well, all he has done has now been taken away because of this incident, and i feel sorry for the guy.

The WWE's contract is up with UPN soon i believe, so hopefully he can come back when they on a different network. Although i maintain the stunt should never have been done under any circumstances, UPN could have cut it with the blessing of WWE, but decided to go ahead with it, therefore, in my opinion, they are the ones mostly to blame for this whole mess, and have handled it very badly, making Hassan the scapegoat.



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 04:00 PM
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The question is where does a violation of free speach occur and where does the government play its role. Please add this information or change the title.



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 04:26 PM
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This isn't a violation of free speach. UPN is a privately own company who has the right to decide what to air and what not to air. If they're worried a character will lower their ratings, that character gets the boot. Simple as that. Generally speaking, especially with a station like UPN, the motivation is money, not political statements. The money comes in through the ratings, and if the ratings go down, so too does the money.

If anything, it would be a violation of freedom of speach if they were forced to keep the character, even though it could potentially, and would in the producer's minds, lower their ratings.



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 05:47 PM
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your right its not a question of free speech
its about Equal Oppurtunity Employment Issue
lmao

anyways if UPN wants to take my favorite bad guy off wrestling
*who was getting me back into wrestling actually after years of shrugging them off*
they get rid of him
i wont watch no more

there ; fair deal
they will lose ratings
and commercial $$$
tough luck UPN; bad choice
ill never come back to wrestling ever agian

fair deal



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
your right its not a question of free speech
its about Equal Oppurtunity Employment Issue
lmao

anyways if UPN wants to take my favorite bad guy off wrestling
*who was getting me back into wrestling actually after years of shrugging them off*
they get rid of him
i wont watch no more

there ; fair deal
they will lose ratings
and commercial $$$
tough luck UPN; bad choice
ill never come back to wrestling ever agian

fair deal


Absloutly right, that is your perogative. Their decision may be the wrong one, and it could drop ratings. They believe it will help their ratings, but if this thread is an indication of what most wrestling fans think, he'll be back in short order.



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 06:47 PM
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Publicity stunt for ailing ratings.






seekerof



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 07:50 PM
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Its not a publicity stunt. That would naturally be the first thing you think, especially as its wrestling, but unless it is a grand plan, he really has been banned by the network, for good too.
His whole angle was that he got screwed over by him home country of USA, and i guess in a way, it happened.



posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 10:32 AM
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This most definately is not a publicity stunt. And there is no way Muhammad Hassan was costing UPN ratings. I'm sorry but you are wrong about this. The more a bad guy is hated, the more people will watch because they want to see him get toppled. Look at HHH. For a while that was the only reason I watched. To see that scumbag lose. Hassan was getting more heat (crowd hatred and booing) than just about any other heel(bad guy) in WWE.


The question is where does a violation of free speach occur and where does the government play its role. Please add this information or change the title.


Did you read my original post? Hassan went on the air to address the bad media press that called him a "terrorist wrestler", and it was not aired. This has nothing to do with ratings or anything like that. The dude was speaking his mind, and he totally trashed the media. UPN was not having that. Therefor, free speech is censored. As far as the government being behind it, I strongly believe that the government plays a rather large role in controlling the media and what they can and cannot publish. I didn't say they were definately involved in it, hence the question mark. But it definately is a strong possibility.



posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 10:43 AM
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UPN was not having that. Therefor, free speech is censored.


No, it's not. Not in a legal sense, anyway. Just like we can't say whatever we want here on ATS, UPN is a private company. They get to make their own broadcast rules. They have the option, even though Fox broadcasts the word a**, to not allow the word a** to be broadcast across their channels. Their perogative. In this case, UPN decided that they didn't want a terrorist wrestler; they didn't want that kind of publicity. You may think the program director's decision was wrong, but it was theirs to make, not yours. You liked the character. Cool, write to UPN, let them know that, and explain why. Do you remember in Good Morning Vietnam when they were going to get rid of Robin Williams, but then all kinds of fan mail and calls started coming in? They changed their minds. That's not just fiction, it's reality. Fox pulled Family Guy because they thought it was to controversial. Yet the fans spoke with some of the highest DVD sales ever and an innundation of fan mail requesting it come back on the air. It took a few years, but Family Guy's back.

Program directors can be wrong. I suspect they know this. However, they're making a decision they think they need to make. It could also be as SeekerOf said, it's just a publicity stunt, and one that is working very well.



posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 11:08 PM
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No, free speech is not censored in a legal sense, but in a realistic sense. This is a lot different than a network choosing to censor a curse word. When a network does this they are consistant with all shows. Now it's no secret that the same company that owns comedy central and MTV owns UPN. I've seen plenty of cartoons portraying OBL and Saddam, as well as tons of cursing on those. This situation is different from most others, because the guy was not a "terrorist wrestler". He was an arab american who suffers from racism. He spoke his mind. The media hates when people do that. He was censored. In fact UPN is truley to blame because they chose to air it in the first place. I'm almost positive they set him up



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