Saudi Arabia 'Sorry' For Televising Women Wrestlers For A Few Seconds

The moment scantily-clad wrestlers appeared onscreen, state television cut off the broadcast. However, that's not the only controversy surrounding WWE in Saudi Arabia.


As Saudi Arabia continues to undergo a much-needed and long overdue societal transition, the ultraconservative kingdom appears to be struggling to adjust tradition with progress.

Case in point: As part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to bring foreign entertainment to Saudi Arabia, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) held its inaugural Greatest Royal Rumble event in Jeddah.

At the event, which, in a first, was attended by both men and women, a promotional video was played featuring women wrestlers in wrestling gear, which included tank tops and leotards.

Here's why that was a problem: Despite all the progressive policies implemented in the country recently, men and women, in public and on TV, are still supposed to adhere to the stringent dress code.

Therefore, even a glimpse of scantily clad women on television is strictly forbidden.

State television reportedly cut off its broadcast when women wrestlers appeared on the giant screens. However, the audience at the event witnessed the entire episode, leading the Saudi General Sports Authority (SGSA) to apologize in a statement.

"The authority has made sure to ban showing of any segment that involves women wrestling or any scenes related to it, and stipulated that to the company (WWE)," SGSA stated.

"The authority also disapproved any promotional stuff with pictures or videos showing women in an indecent way."

The technical gaffe was, however, not the only controversy surrounding the latest wrestling venture in Saudi Arabia.

Over the years, women wrestlers such as Charlotte Flair have started taking a more leading role in the WWE; a milestone that is popularly known as the "women's revolution."

But this revolution will not be a part of the one taking place in the Saudi entertainment industry as no women wrestlers have been scheduled to be a part of the Royal Rumble in Jeddah and WWE seems to be fine with it.

A lot of fans are understandably outraged at WWE's hypocrisy:




Thumbnail/Banner Credits: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

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