In the aftermath of a Greatest Royal Rumble segment that played on tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Ariya Daivari has issued a statement apologizing to anyone who was offended and revealed that he received death threats for his character’s role on the show.
“During an appearance this past Friday, I portrayed a fictional character and played the role of the antagonist, no different than what other actors would do in a movie or TV show,” Daivari wrote. “That character does not reflect my personal views and I apologize to anyone that may have been offended by the skit. I have an incredible amount of respect for the great people of Iran and I am very proud of my Iranian heritage. Thank you.”
Daivari then responded to someone who said he shouldn’t have needed to apologize, “Unfortunately some people took offense to this despite it being pure entertainment. Some threats were made against my life. I wanted to put this statement out to clarify where I as a person stand compared to my t.v. character.”
While he’s received criticism from both sides, Daivari didn’t address where the threats came from.
The segment featured Daivari and his brother Shawn interrupting four people who attended WWE’s tryouts in Saudi Arabia. The Daivari brothers entered with the Iranian flag, insulting the trainees and praising Iran. The trainees stood tall after sending both Daivaris out of the ring.