UPN's "Smackdown (search)" aired what appeared to be terror-themed hijinks last Thursday — the same day as terrorist bombings in London killed more than 50 people.
The sketch was edited out of a U.K. edition of "Smackdown," which aired that same night.
The sketch included images of Arabs in ski masks carrying a fallen Arab wrestler over their heads after he had "sacrificed" himself, evoking imagery similar to a homicide bomber's funeral.
"We're very proud of our product," said "Smackdown" executive producer Kevin Dunn. "We try and be sensitive with everything we portray, but there's got to be protagonists and antagonists on our TV shows.
"We just happen to reflect the politics of the world sometimes — especially with these Arab-American characters."
A WWE (search) spokesman added that it was "unfortunate" that the sketch aired the same day as the attacks.
"If we had any idea that something like [the London attacks] might happen, obviously you wouldn't try to do that segment on that day," he said.
But the show was taped July 5 — two days before the telecast.
After the bombings took place last Thursday, WWE execs gave broadcasters carrying the show a heads-up about the sketch.
It was edited out in Europe, but aired on UPN here with a discretionary crawl along the bottom of the screen that said: "In light of today's tragic events in London, parental discretion is advised in viewing tonight's episode."
WWE's Dunn says, "We are firmly in the entertainment business," and that the plot, as edgy as it might have been, should be taken tongue-in-cheek.
On last Thursday's show, an Arab-American wrestler who fights under the stage name Daivari was beaten by The Undertaker (search).
After the bout, a second Arab wrestler, Hassan, knelt near the ring and prayed while five masked men attacked The Undertaker and choked him into unconsciousness.
All five then knelt into praying positions and Hassan lifted The Undertaker's head up for the camera in a scene that looked eerily like a beheading.
The group then left the ring carrying the unconscious Daivari over their heads.