REPORT: Tony Khan privately addresses "roll of quarters" angle with critic

Originally published at REPORT: Tony Khan privately addresses "roll of quarters" angle with critic

Criticism has been levied against AEW following its controversial angle drawing on antisemitic actions against MJF from his childhood.

On Tuesday’s edition of Dynamite, Juice Robinson revealed a roll of quarters with the name “Friedman” written on them and promised to break his jaw.

While Robinson has frequently used a roll of quarters as a weapon, the reaction by MJF and inference was clearly drawn to MJF’s past description of bullies throwing quarters at him as a child because he was Jewish.

Outlets including TMZ and Awful Announcing have covered the story with the latter reporting that Tony Khan has privately contacted one online critic of the angle.

Earlier Thursday, Travis Akers, a Duval County school board candidate residing in Jacksonville, Florida, the home of AEW, made a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. Akers brought attention to the antisemitic angle by quote-tweeting a post made by TMZ on Wednesday night. Akers claimed that he watched the show, and then after the angle happened, he changed the channel.

Akers posted (and then deleted) a message acknowledging that Tony Khan had contacted him privately. Akers confirmed to Awful Announcing that Khan messaged him and added, “We are having an on-going conversation now regarding the angle and my concerns about the anti-Semitic content.”

MJF has defended the choice noting that it is his real life and it is his story. He said he looks forward to “giving catharsis to every single person who’s ever been oppressed or bullied” and added “To anyone that thinks that can’t be done through the avenue of professional wrestling. Then that’s an indictment on things that have happened in this sports past.”

Muhammad Hassan was portraying an evil Muslim terrorist.

I’m actually Jewish. I’ve actually gone through this. This is my real life!!!!! MY STORY!

And I Look forward to giving Catharsis to every single person who’s ever been oppressed or bullied.

If you think I’d play with…

— Maxwell Jacob Friedman™️ (@The_MJF) October 11, 2023

If this is what Tony wanted by doing the angle, “congrats” you got people to talk about it.

Tony in his tweet storm yesterday also failed to promote their featured star who followed up Tuesdays angle with an appearance alongside Robert Kraft and others.

It an important part of the discussion around this angle since the appearance or remarks there have not yielded coverage in the venue he is trying to tell this based on real life story in.

If Max is trying to tell a broader story it’s not made easier by lack of promotion for the appearance immediately following up on the “controversial” angle.

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How do you feel now that they aired the appearance on Collision?

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Hi Josh,
It’s for the better that they ran it. Unclear if that was always the plan or because of the public pressure but regardless I will give benefit of the doubt they intended to run it (because wasting the opportunity to show MJF with such people would be bad business).

Having took in discourse after Tuesday a few things stuck out:

  1. I think there is an uneasiness for some to state they stand against antisemitism. If people think silently implying it is enough especially right now, it’s been extremely hollow to hear. Ties in to the rest of this…
  2. There is a lot of short cuts in using “this week of all weeks” by some to avoid what maybe is too third rail a topic. That’s not been the case for other similar IRL topics involving race/ethnicity/. It stands out because it makes me even more convinced Wrestling is not the forum for this and especially right now. I sadly wonder if/when we hear MJF boo’d
  3. The discourse is a reflection of what the medium can and cannot do and it’s hard to tell a story for Max to spread a message in a space that may be uneasy in addressing the IRL stuff. In that sense it just becomes another pro wrestling angle. Wrestling as a medium is mostly a reflection of fans/consumers and what they like/will consume for entertainment. I have been wondering why it makes people so “uncomfortable” and why it isn’t something that generated the response I would have liked to see, and I assume MJF had hoped for.
  4. That it generated such discomfort tells me people don’t want to see it or address real life stuff and so then how can Wrestling be an appropriate medium (I respectfully disagree with MJF but support his attempt and give him credit for being brave to do it)
    It took til Saturday Collision to get a piece of content to follow up the discussion with. In its place it’s been a a convo on whether pro wrestling can or can’t do this. Or if the criticism is warranted (:roll_eyes:). Antisemitism is at the highs of mine and MJFs life and people seemed to care more about Tony’s tweets and DMs than what MJF was trying to promote.
  5. Time will tell if this has any effect or backfires completely (I think it has real bad potential to go sideways). And of course what AEW is committed to and how well thought out this was over the last week or two.
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Pretty sure the whole “quarters” angle will be dropped and never mentioned again.