AEW President Tony Khan has fired back at Big Swole after she accused the company of having a lack of diversity.
After two years with AEW, Big Swole parted ways with the company on 30 November and recently spoke about her departure on her Swole World call-in show. During the episode, she discussed the problems she sees in the company which include a lack of structure, the amount of time given to the women’s division, and, perhaps most contentiously, issues with diversity.
“Outside of [lack of structure] their BIGGEST issue, which is diversity. I do not beat around the bush when it comes to diversity and my people. There is no representation, truly, and when there is, it does not come across in the black community as genuine. At all. I don’t know why everybody is so afraid to accept it or say it, but it’s not a good look.
“What happens is, you have this wonderful company that treats people like family, but there is nobody that looks like me that is represented at the top and in the room with them. They are not helping to necessarily influence decisions, but to explain why certain slang and certain word shouldn’t be said.
“There is no one else who can explain our culture and experience except for us.”
Big Swole also explained that she believes AEW is making “better strides than before”, but there are still things she believes need to be fixed.
“With promises you made to be diverse, I want to see that. Not just with black people. I would love to see a Latino or Hispanic or more Asians. I feel like Asians and Indians do not get the love. They just don’t. It’s such a big gap. I hate the fact that I turn on the TV and it’s the same stuff over and over again. Hopefully, they get the message.”
She finished by saying that there was “no bad blood” between her and Tony Khan and her departure wasn’t bad.
“Me leaving, honestly, was not bad. There is no bad blood between TK and I. I just don’t like my peace being disrupted. I didn’t like certain things and other things that I will take to my grave. The diversity. That’s what matters.”
Now, Tony Khan has hit back at the comments on Twitter, pointing out that he and AEW’s Chief Legal Counsel Megha Parekh are two of the top executives in the company, and listed a number of wrestlers who had wins on Dynamite in December.
He ended by taking a more personal swipe at Swole, claiming that he let her contract expire because he thought “her wrestling wasn’t good enough”.
“The top 2 @AEW execs are brown (me & Megha)!! Jade, Bowens, Caster, Dante, Nyla, Isiah & Marq Quen all won on tv this month. The TBS Title Tournament has been very diverse. I let Swole’s contract expire as I felt her wrestling wasn’t good enough. #AEWRampage Street Fight TONIGHT!”
The top 2 @AEW execs are brown (me & Megha)!! Jade, Bowens, Caster, Dante, Nyla, Isiah & Marq Quen all won on tv this month. The TBS Title Tournament has been very diverse. I let Swole’s contract expire as I felt her wrestling wasn’t good enough. #AEWRampage Street Fight TONIGHT! https://t.co/NprF6I7D6G
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) January 1, 2022
At the time of writing, Big Swole has not responded to the tweet from Tony Khan.
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.