All Elite Wrestling (AEW) fired a Spanish commentary team member for mocking the accent of a Japanese wrestler.
What happened: Willie Urbina mocked the accent of Hikaru Shida, 32, who is currently the longest-reigning AEW Women’s World Champion.
- The incident, which has now gone viral on social media, happened during a commercial break on last week’s episode of “AEW Dynamite.”
- Co-announcer Alex Abrahantes asked Urbina to translate a promo for Shida, but Urbina instead gibbered in a mock Asian accent.
- Co-announcer Thunder Rosa and Dasha Kuret told Urbina to stop, according to a translation for Fightful.
- AEW has no breaks on FITE TV outside the U.S. for AEW Plus subscribers, so international viewers watching with Spanish commentary were able to hear the whole thing.
- Shida lost to Britt Baker on Sunday’s “AEW Double or Nothing,” ending her 372-day reign, Wrestling Inc noted.
AEW fired Urbina last Saturday, just hours after the controversial broadcast, according to PW Insider
- Urbina, who worked for Impact Wrestling from 2006-2014, also did Spanish announcing for New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
- AEW owner Tony Khan confirmed Urbina’s termination and apologized to Shida over the matter.
- “I didn’t think there was any excuse. I was not happy. Afterwards, I heard what was said and having our commentators involved with what was said about her, who I also apologized to, I thought it was best for the company to make this decision,” Khan said, according to Fightful.
- Shida responded to Urbina’s comments in English and Japanese tweets, expressing that she doesn’t care what “other people say about my race because I love it and [am] proud of it. I don’t even feel anger.”