Saudi Arabia show under fire from HBO host

Jim Ross

This comes amid tremendous pressure on businesses to stop doing business with the Saudi's after reports of the disappearance and possible murder of Saudi Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The slaying was the Saudi government sending a message to the world that they could do it and get away with it, the "Last Week Tonight" host said.

Determined to position the kingdom in a new and more progressive worldwide light, MBS, as Oliver put it, "struck a 10-year deal with one of the most popular and most American franchises there is - World Wresting Entertainment, or WWE". The HBO show focused on the way the company gushed over Saudi Arabia and the royal family, and aired a propaganda video during the Greatest Royal Rumble event. John Cena, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton and Kurt Angle have already qualified for WWE's World Cup Tournament, with the Shinsuke Nakamura vs Rey Mysterio qualifier being scheduled to take place tomorrow night at SmackDown 1000.

As Oliver pointed out, a "much grimmer story" was going on in Saudi Arabia even then - for example, women who had campaigned for driving rights had been arrested even as their accomplishment was being heralded.

Donald Trump Tweets: Saudi King "Denies Any Knowledge" Of WaPo Contributor Disappearance
Prince Mohammed told Reuters a year ago that Blackstone and BlackRock Inc were planning to open offices in the kingdom. Lurid claims have appeared in Turkish media, including that Khashoggi was tortured before being killed and cut up.

WWE's relationship with Saudi Arabia was skewered in a segment on "Last Week Tonight" on Sunday.

On Thursday Trump expressed reluctance to to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia because he said the country was spending $110 billion in the USA on weapons sales.

Watch Oliver's report on "the situation" above.

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