To say that Titus O’Neil has had some trouble gaining a foothold in the WWE these days would be an understatement. The very outgoing and larger-than-life wrestler and personality has struggled to get the backing of the WWE writers and his in-ring career seems to be at a crossroads. As the head of Titus Worldwide, O’Neil is no longer wrestling, but trying to spearhead a group that will be recognized as some of the most talented roster members on Raw. To date, it’s been a bit of a bumpy road.
Meanwhile, O’Neil has also been front and center as a father and active participant in a number of WWE special programs and worthwhile causes which benefit the community. Cleary, one of the most respected people by his WWE peers, O’Neil promotes being respectful to yourself and to others. He’s big on building relationships, and understanding that those positive relationships can lead to open doors and opportunities that might not otherwise exist.
Recently, O’Neil sat down with Uproxx to discuss a number of wrestling topics. Among the topics were his outside work, his current status in the WWE, and whether or not wrestling is too reliant on stereotypes.
On a recent episode of SmackDown Live, Jinder Mahal used an in-ring promo as an opportunity to not only further his own character (one based on the stereotypically underappreciated foreigner) but he knocked down another International Superstar in Shinsuke Nakamura by referring to his skin color, appearance, and trouble with the English language. Mahal’s approach caught many by surprise and it began a debate about whether or not the WWE leans too heavy on the discrimination storyline.
O’Neil weighed in on the topic and said the following:
” I think entertainment as a whole plays strongly on — too strongly on stereotypes in some cases, not just in professional wrestling. You have stereotypical characters that play stereotypical roles in television shows, and I’m very happy to see that there are more people that are very creative, that have gone outside of the box and played characters that have nothing to do with ‘stereotypical’ culture that they come from, or their background. There are directors out there, and producers out there, that are now putting better content, better movies, better TV characters. The world is changing, so we all have to change with that world. Again, if it’s in the fabric of the country, then why wouldn’t it be portrayed on film any differently?”
Making sure he didn’t suggest that entertainment and specifically WWE wasn’t all negative, O’Neil explained, “But at the end of the day, there has to be, I think in order for certain things to have a genuine feel to it, it has to be some stereotypical aspects to it in order for people to kinda connect the dots, because that’s what they’re accustomed to seeing… I do think in professional wrestling that we’ve done a lot better with portraying characters and letting people be kind of more of themselves. Again, I think that it’s just like any other entertainment aspect, there will always be some type of stereotypical role or character played. just because that’s in the fabric of entertainment, it’s in the fabric of our culture.”
— Zac Day (@XBEARDXtattoos) September 14, 2017
O’Neil also discussed his work with the homeless and worthwhile charities and he demonstrated just how much he desires to give back to his community, leaving people better off than before they met him. Rightfully so, his comments got a lot of adoration from friends and peers in the WWE. Randy Orton said in a tweet, Your one hell of a guy
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