Sept. 22 (UPI) -- WWE has responded to critics who say a recent televised segment featuring WWE Champion Jinder Mahal mocking his rival Shinsuke Nakamura was offensive and racist.
The scripted promo, which aired during Smackdown Live Tuesday, featured Mahal mocking Nakamura's looks and race. The moment was a follow-up to a previous segment Mahal gave where he stated fans will begin to turn on the fan-favorite Nakamura, who hails from Japan, due to how he looks and talks.
"You always rook the same," the champion said as he stood alongside his henchmen The Singh Brothers. "They call you Mr. Miyagi," Mahal continued in reference to a Japanese character featured in The Karate Kid.
Fans in attendance could be heard chanting "That's too far!" The segment was noticeably absent from WWE's YouTube page following Tuesday's airing of Smackdown Live, something they normally do with televised moments.
"Just like many other TV shows or movies, WWE creates programming with fictional personalities that incorporates real world issues and sensitive subjects," the company said in a statement to The Washington Post who ran a story on the incident.
"As a producer of such TV shows, WWE Corporate is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide," they continued.
Mahal and Nakamura have been feuding over the WWE Championship since August. The self-proclaimed Modern-Day Maharaja defeated Nakamura at SummerSlam and will meet The Artist again for the title on Oct. 8 at Hell in a Cell.