World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. says it has cut ties with Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, after the wrestler made offensive comments about black people in a sex tape released without his permission.
“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan),” the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said in a statement Friday. “WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
The company acted after the National Enquirer and RadarOnline.com reported that Bollea used racial slurs in comments about his daughter dating a black man. The remarks were captured on a sex tape that is central to an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit Bollea has pending against Gawker Media.
Bollea said in a statement Friday that he regretted having made the comments.
“It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it,” according to a statement Bollea’s publicist provided Bloomberg News. “I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”
Bollea said in his statement that he resigned from the WWE.
The 61-year-old wrestler had been appearing at promotional events for the company, such as WrestleMania in March. WWE removed current images of Bollea from its Web sites Friday.
WWE shares fell 3.7 percent to close at $16.60 in New York on Friday. They are up 35 percent this year.