The WWE has fired Hulk Hogan after reports surfaced that the wrestling legend went on a racist N-word-filled tirade.
“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan),” the company said in a statement Friday morning. “WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
The WWE has not confirmed the specific reason for ending its contract with Hogan. According to a “joint investigation” by the The National Enquirer and Radar Online, the decision came down after additional footage from Hogan’s 2012 sex tape leaked, showing the wrestler making racist comments about his daughter Brooke‘s boyfriend, whom he believed to be black.
“I’d rather if she was going to f– some n–er,” Hogan reportedly said on the tape. “I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n–er worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!
The WWE has since scrubbed all mentions of Hogan’s name from its website. A source tells THR that a replacement judge will appear in Hogan’s place on Tuesday’s episode of WWE Tough Enough. Further details will be announced on Tuesday’s episode. Additionally, the WWE will no longer air previous episodes of the series that involve Hogan.
According to USA Today, Hogan is also no longer present on the WWE Hall of Fame page. All merchandise has been removed from WWEShop.com.
According to a separate report by Marc Lamont Hill, citing transcripts from the tape, there is additional audio of Hogan calling The Rock, real name Dwayne Johnson, the n-word as well as “sambo.”
Johnson has leveraged his success in the ring to launch a highly successful career in film and TV, most recently appearing in the blockbuster San Andreas and also on HBO’s Ballers.
Hogan is no longer listed as one of the judges on the Tough Enough TV show or present on the WWE Hall of Fame page. All merchandise has been removed from WWEShop.com.
While there is still an item that remains mentioning Hogan’s involvement in WWE’s upcoming Australian tour, in which Hogan was scheduled to serve as General Manager, any attempt to access this page leads to a message stating “you are not authorized to access this page.”
In a statement to People, Hogan has apologized for his comments, saying: “Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it.”
“This is not who I am,” the statement continues. “I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”
Hogan also issued a cryptic response on Twitter in the immediate wake of initial reports.
In the storm I release control,God and his Universe will sail me where he wants me to be,one love. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 24, 2015
The transcripts of Hogan’s sex tape likely stem from his ongoing lawsuit with Gawker, which published an excerpt of the tape in 2012. Hogan is suing Gawker for $100 million for allegedly invading his privacy by publishing it.
In a 2012 radio interview on DJ Whoo Kid‘s radio show Whoolywood Shuffle, which aired on Eminem‘s Sirius XM hip-hop channel Shade 45, Hogan discusses his use of the N-word, noting that ” … Lil Wayne, Birdman — you know, they’re all calling me n–, and then I started saying it.”
Listen to an excerpt of the Whoolywood Shuffle interview here. Warning: contains explicit language.
This article orginally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter