The New Day isn’t the only tag team featuring Big E.
Ettore “Big E” Ewen also partnered with journalist Andreas Hale and graphic designer Jonathan Davenport to create Our Heroes Rock!, a one-of-a-kind 3D animated series that will allow viewers to explore heroic figures in black history with the added elements of hip hop and science fiction.
“We also want to expand to all of America’s unsung heroes in our community and culture,” Hale says. “The history of women, the history of Latinos, the LGBT community, we want to tell the stories of anonymous heroes.”
Hale’s journalism career spans the past decade and a half, and he is currently the senior combat sports editor for Sport News. He has also developed a friendship with Big E, one of WWE’s most talented and popular artists, and Davenport, a graphic artist who also designs some of the most spectacular gear for WWE talent. The three have come together to create a series designed to help children learn important, though often hidden, details of American history, as well as to inspire people to rewrite the nation’s history books.
“We want to change the perspective on black history and our heroes,” says Hale. Instead of learning about the French and Indian war, maybe now I’m learning something about Fred Hampton or Malcolm X or Ida B. Wells or Jane Elliott. America is a melting pot of cultures, but our history books don’t reflect that. Our history books make it seem like the only heroes worth talking about are white men. There are very few women and very few people of color. Even when we talk about Martin Luther King, who we hope to do an episode of later, there are many layers behind what he did beyond the “I have a dream” speech.
“If you are a white kid who has never heard of Emmett Till, how can you sympathize or empathize? Then fast forward to 2021, and we’re still seeing similar things, so we really want to broaden people’s perspective on people of color and acknowledge and acknowledge our cultural differences and appreciate each other. “
The genesis of Our Heroes Rock! It was the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last summer. This led to a conversation with Hale. on The New Day podcast, which was a powerful opportunity to share and a spark for future events.
“We talked about our feelings, our very gut feelings, about George Floyd and how African Americans are treated in this country,” says Hale. “Big E and I have been friends for a while, and this is something we’ve talked about. Even around ‘KofiMania’, we discussed how to push the culture forward, in terms of making it feel fun and creating something that it can relate to. And that podcast got a tremendous response, and E kept asking, ‘What can I do to continue this conversation?’ “
Big E refused to allow that discussion to dissipate. There was a defining moment in WWE when he and Kofi Kingston knelt in the ring during a live broadcast of Slap. During his matches, he wore bracelets with the names of the victims of police brutality. Then he and Davenport began creating a new fighting team that featured civil rights heroes and inventors.
“Big E and Johnny got together and came up with the idea to merge School house rock with African American history, ”says Hale. “I thought it was amazing. I called Big E and told him that this was an idea with legs, and that it shouldn’t be limited to just the screen in WWE. That’s how all of this came together, and then we started the Kickstarter to measure what the temperature of interest would be. “
Those discussions helped ignite Our Heroes Rock! The next step in the equation was fundraising, which, so far, has been a resounding success. There are still weeks before the end of the campaign, the Kickstarter has already exceeded its target twice. The goal is to have the pilot ready six months after the Kickstarter completes.
“We are working on our ambitious goals now, which allowed us to have Erick, the architect of Flatbush Zombies, as the music producer for our pilot,” says Hale. “The Kickstarter lasts the last night of Wrestlemania, and we want people to have a part and be part of this project. “
With a background in music journalism and entertainment, Hale has tapped into her vast collection of resources, connecting with a variety of friends to add a unique twist to the series. This prompted Rapsody to narrate the pilot, which will detail the story of Ruby Bridges, the first black girl to enter an elementary school in the South.
“We want people to have an emotional bond,” says Hale. “So in the Ruby Bridges story, kids can learn attributes about themselves, like being brave and tolerant.
“The only way to end something like racism is by teaching empathy and sympathy for other cultures. We must recognize and acknowledge our cultural differences, and we must also be able to recognize and recognize heroes, no matter who they are, what color they are, what gender they are or what sexuality they are. “
In addition to such a compelling series, Big E fans will be delighted to know that the reigning intercontinental champion will play an integral part of the on-air product. Coming to life in animation as “E-Tour the Robot,” Big E will take viewers on a journey through the show’s “Hall of Heroes.”
“You need a big, lovely voice for this to work, and that’s Big E,” says Hale. “It is a big, boisterous and passionate voice. The fun-loving man you see on screen is him, and his passion is to change the world. There is no better person for this project. If you want to put history on someone, you have to put it on Big E’s broad shoulders. “
Our Heroes Rock! it offers a very significant opportunity to broaden people’s perspective, especially in a country that is still struggling with the damaging effects of racism. This represents an opportunity to discuss heroic figures that have been overlooked for too long, as well as to include meaningful representation of the country’s most important figures. And for Hale, he hopes this will make a difference both at a distance and at home.
“We have a diversity problem everywhere and the world can be an ugly place, so we want to do something at ground level that reaches children directly,” says Hale. “I don’t want someone else’s children to harm my child, so we are doing our best to change the lives of all of our children. I hope we can do this together. “
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.