LOS ANGELES (AP) — World Wrestling Entertainment apologized Friday for using an image from the Auschwitz concentration camp to promote one of its matches during the first night of WrestleMania 39 last weekend.
The image was used in a promotional package for the match between Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio on a preview show on April 1.
“We had no knowledge of what was depicted. As soon as we learned, it was removed immediately. We apologize for this error,” the WWE said in a statement.
The storyline between father and son included Dominik Mysterio going to jail after being involved in an incident with his father during Christmas. The image of Auschwitz appeared as Dominik said in the promo “You think this is a game to me? I served hard time. And I survived.”
The photo from the concentration camp in Oświęcim, Poland, where 1.1 million people were murdered by the Nazis during World War II, was replaced by stock footage of barbed wire and an empty jail cell in the promo before the match and in replays.
Some wrestling fans noticed the use of the Auschwitz photo. It drew more attention after the Auschwitz Memorial museum posted on Twitter on Wednesday that using the image “is hard to call an editing mistake.”
“Exploiting the site that became a symbol of enormous human tragedy is shameless and insults the memory of all victims of Auschwitz,” the memorial said in a statement.
Rey Mysterio, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last week, defeated his son in the match.
WrestleMania 39 at SoFi Stadium drew 161,892 and set stadium single-day records on both nights. It also was the most-streamed event on Peacock since last year’s Super Bowl.
The two-night show also came on the eve of the McMahon family agreeing to a merger with the company that runs Ultimate Fighting Championship.
On Monday morning, Endeavor and WWE announced plans to create a $21.4 billion sports entertainment company.