In the wake of news breaking that WWE's Tuesday night program, "SmackDown," has been acquired by Fox, resulting in great financial success for the Wrestling company, many tuned into WWE's flagship show, "RAW." However, a segment involving Sami Zayn perhaps should have never aired, as it presents a number of problems, especially for LGBT fans and the community in general.

The segment

Leading up to the May 21 edition of "RAW" has been the ongoing rivalry between WWE Superstars Sami Zayn and Bobby Lashley, both of whom are recent "RAW" mainstays. During the previous week's episode, Zayn claimed he would interview Lashley's three sisters, something that would attempt to recreate former "This Is Your Life" segments, which haven't really succeeded since The Rock did them.

What occurred this week, however, was nothing short of awful.

Zayn - and in turn, WWE - introduced us to the three Lashley girls, Jessica, Frances, and Cathy, but there was something unusual about the women: they were men dressed in drag. As he interviewed the trio, the crowd appeared bewildered, unsure how to take it but also not booing Zayn. The segment was meant to be a joke, an attempt for Zayn, a wrestler who has been portraying the heel as of late, to annoy, offend, and mock Lashley, the good guy in the feud. Instead, the segment showed fans that men dressed as women is still a funny trope.

The segment's real-life consequences

In recent years, Stephanie McMahon, WWE's Chief Brand Officer, claimed they intend to make their product more inclusive. In fact, McMahon specifically told NBC OUT, "[A]bsolutely we will integrate LGBT storylines into our programming," suggesting it would occur in the near future.

Unsurprisingly though, there hasn't been much of a change. Professional wrestling, in general, is not considered the most forward-thinking of sports, which is why the entire industry has been able to get away with sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia for so long. WWE has made efforts in some ways: for example, their women's revolution has received praise, as it has marked a huge departure from the objectification women faced during the Attitude Era and beyond.

However, with this segment, the company is proving they are not as inclusive as they like to think. Using men dressed as women as the butt of a joke is nothing short of transphobic. While it might at first be taken as some juvenile attempt at humor from WWE, there really is no humor in this type of segment because such jokes harm real people. Zayn may have received a negative reaction because the segment was truly bad (not because he is a bad guy), but the crowd also managed to cheer Lashley, not only when he attacked his rival but when he attacked the sisters as well.

This segment is more than just a joke; it is is a reality trans women face every day. Because they don't fit in with the traditional notions of what a woman is supposed to be, they are targeted. In 2018, the Human Rights Campaign provided the names of ten transgender people that were shot or killed in other violent ways just this year, and the list consisted of mostly trans women. The site also claimed that 2017 marked the highest number of deaths of transgender people due to violent actions at 28 deaths.

Segments on television and other media like WWE just aired do not help these statistics. What they do instead is mock trans women and make them the butt of a joke at the minimum.

Holding WWE accountable

As consumers, we cannot continue to accept hateful and tone-deaf segments like this, knowing how they can affect real people. Though WWE is fake, the consequences of such segments are very real. Zayn's character might be a bad guy, but there are far more interesting and overall better ways to garner heat in the wrestling business that don't involve the transphobia fans witnessed last night.

WWE must be held accountable for truly tone-deaf segments like this. Just as they were rightfully criticized for the various fat-shaming segments over the past decade or so or for their other questionable decisions, last night's segment cannot be swept under the rug. If we do not let it be known that we have problems with segments like this, things will never change, and WWE's product will continue to go downhill while promoting hate.

If WWE is honest about their intent to be inclusive, they need to move forward and work to create inclusive content, instead of just talking about it.