Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Standing Up

Yesterday, WWE unleashed its "Stand Up for WWE" campaign, asking fans to show their support for the WWE. The company has gotten alot of bad press lately (and let's face it, almost every time they are in the mainstream spotlight) as a tactic to hurt former CEO Linda McMahon's chances of being elected to the Senate.

The "Stand Up for WWE" has nothing to do with Linda's campaign except for the fact that it is answering allegations made by her opponent, Richard Blumenthal, and others not interested in seeing the successful businesswoman elected.

Allegations are the typical heard in the media, and probably even by some of your non-wrestling-fan friends-- steroid use, poor treatment of talent and the portrayal of women on WWE broadcasting.

A New York Post columnist even went as far as a calling the WWE a "drug-infused death mill." (FYI- the Post endorsed Linda on Oct. 8... I guess this guy wasn't too happy with his supervisors' decision...)

Yes, I'm sure there is pressure to be bigger and stronger, as there is in most sports. These guys also put their bodies through hell each week. This is going to result in some guys making poor decisions.

This is why WWE has a Talent Wellness Policy, which results in suspensions and sometimes releases of their contracts if the guys don't pass the random drug testing. Guys like Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy and Carlito have suffered the consequences making stupid decisions and getting caught.

WWE wrestlers are independent contractors, which means they are not employees of the WWE, but basically business owners who provide their services to the WWE. However, WWE does cover the costs of injuries, provide medical health evaluations, and covers the cost of rehab for it's talent. According to WWE.com, the average wrestler earns more than $550,000 a year.

Women many times over the years have been used as pawns in a heel's storyline. This is a classic way to show who the villain is in a story. Any story, not just the WWE's.

The other day an ABC soap opened with a young woman holding a baby and another character was pointing at the two of them. I did not stay on the channel to watch the soap, but in those few seconds, I knew exactly who the bad guy was. Oh, and that was a basic channel in the middle of the day... WWE programming is on at night, on cable, and whenever they had a PG-13 (you know, before they went PG) storyline, it was usually on after 9 p.m., when most viewers who it would be unsuitable for would be in bed.

And on the other issue concerning female wrestlers, if I had a daughter, I would be happy if a Diva was her role model. Divas show girls they can be athletic and smart and still be sexy and gorgeous.

To learn more about "Stand Up for WWE," visit WWE.com.


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