2020 U.S. Presidential candidate calls out Vince McMahon for classifying WWE wrestlers as independent contractors

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Andrew Yang, who ran for the Democratic U.S. Presidential nomination earlier this year, took issue with WWE labeling its wrestlers as independent contractors on Friday. “Vince you’d better hope your old friend Donald wins because change is in the air and changes are long overdue where your corrupt labor practices are concerned,” Yang wrote on his Twitter page. “It would give me great pleasure. The people know.

“I grew up a wrestling fan and it’s been sad to see so many of my childhood heroes pass away early. I’d feel better knowing that they and their families were being fairly treated – I look forward to doing what I can for the next generation of performers. I know how tough it is.

“If I’m not the Secretary of Labor I’m pretty confident I’ll have his or her number to talk about the ridiculous classification of WWE wrestlers as independent contractors while controlling their name and likeness for years, even for something as benign as Cameo.”

Powell’s POV: Yang dropped out of the U.S. Presidential race in February. There has been speculation that he could be offered the Secretary of Labor position if Joe Biden win the election in November. Yang is clearly referring to the story that broke today regarding WWE ordering talent to stop using their names and likenesses with third party services (believed to include Twitch and Cameo) even if they are using their real names rather than their character names. WWE threatened fines, suspensions, and even termination if the talent do not comply by October 2. It will be interesting to see if the company changes course now that the story is getting political attention.

Update: WWE issued the following press release regarding the third party issue on Saturday: “Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman. It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a companywide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved.”


Readers Comments (13)

  1. im cynical as i dont trust Liberals…but i think all wrestling fans based in the states should switch there votes to Biden based on this. i support one of the third party candidates but this could sway me.

  2. I would have voted for Yang had the Democratic Party nominated him as their presidential candidate. I support candidates whose polices are best suited to raise wages for American workers. Yang’s Universal Basic Income proposal would have done so in a more efficient and transparent fashion then any policy so far proposed by either Trump or Biden. I would have altered the financing mechanism into profits derived from a nationwide sovereign wealth fund based on the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend program (Google it), but he has the right idea.
    As far as treating his wrestler employees better, no doubt Vince is taking advantage of them. Jessie the Body was right-they needed, and still do, to unionize.
    BTW Jason, how’s that right-wing description of a certain someone looking to you now? Listening to the other side pays off. Try it sometime.

    • Again, if you don’t want someone to assume you are a right winger, then don’t use their rhetoric, which you did. End of story. For the record, I have encouraged podcast listeners to hear out both sides and decide for themselves. For instance, I think it’s a mistake to focus in on one cable news network and assume you are getting the whole truth, which I see far too many people on both sides doing. Furthermore, I remain an independent voter. One side lost me four years ago and I will continue to vote against them until they make major changes, particularly when it comes to social issues that I disagree with. But once they do or even if certain candidates emerge that I feel good about who can help bring change to that party, then I will go back to picking and choosing. Perhaps you have assumed you know more than you do about my political views?

      • Have you no capacity to engage anyone on the merits instead of attempting to silence discussion with Establishment accepted epithets? How about dropping the “right winger” response and debate the subjects? I said I favor public policy that increases wages of employees. If you disagree with this position, say so, and explain why, or express an alternative policy preference. You are not “encouraging” anyone reading our exchanges to “listen to both sides,” you are calling me a name that you assume people who vote the way you do to will automatically reject my words due to who you think I am, not the substance of the opinion I express. If you want the United States to disintegrate staring November 4, 2020, the attitude that a person expressing traditional values deserves the fate to be inflicted by the peaceful protesters will be a useful stimulant to that event. If you assume you will come out unscathed, I suspect your party’s criminal enforcers will show you the error of that belief in due time. You claim to listen, but that is transparently false. Now tell me how how I am a right winger for supporting Andrew Yang. Without childish cool-kid rhetoric. Or is Yang a right-winger as well because he appeared on Fox News a few times, or called out MSNBC for literally ignoring his campaign, or listing him as “John” Yang, or was ignored in the Democratic Party debates because he pushed a policy designed to help all voters, not just Democratic Party donors? Yes, I am assuming your political views are standard Democratic gentry liberalism, because you slur opponents instead of answering the words with a reasoned opinion of your own. Right winger. There is no left and right, both parties support wealthy people, telling lies to their voters to obtain office, then sell out those same voters to maintain the wealthy people’s status and wealth. If you understand that, we are in agreement. If not,your wage slave chains will remain intact, as will mine.

        • Blah, blah, blah. You can’t get over that I called you on using right wing lingo in your original post. I simply suggested that you stop using right wing lingo, which you did in that first post, and then people won’t assume that you’re a right winger. Rather than concede a simple point, you babble on about the evils of both parties, but mostly the liberal side. Here’s the honest truth. I don’t care what you think. You are clearly looking for a political fight. Go find one. You have your beliefs. I have mine and your rants are not going to change anything. Move on with your life.

          • Same non sequitur. But your hostility to anyone with a viewpoint different from your own is enlightening. You may name call rather then discuss options for dealing with conflict. That will, as a matter of human psychology, spur the same reaction. This leaves resolution of the conflict unfulfilled,which makes everyone’s life worse. That is the reality. You may assert your moral authority to condemn those who feel and act in a manner you oppose, without conceding the rights of others to seek to meet their life goals. Do not be surprised if the winners show you no mercy.

        • “I suspect your party’s criminal enforcers will show you the error of that belief in due time.” – dude, that’s just internet troll category of the whiny type. Get a clue – your own rhetoric condemns you by your own standards.

  3. I would have voted for the first time in eons if the Yang/McRaven idea had taken root and gotten on the ballot.

    • but if Biden wins and Yang did become Labor secretary that could be most valuable to the wrestlers we support. thats really worthy of consideration even if you dont like Biden which i dont.

      • I would have considered it if Biden had gone with someone like Tulsi as his VP. Kamala is an absolute non starter.

  4. Didn’t WWE kinda play themselves with that statement? It’s not like Warner owned Christian Bale’s N&L just because he did a Batman a few times

    • It just shows how few people in the wrestling business have a brain. It’s so easy to beat WWE on this one, with their own public statement, but it’s most likely that nothing will come of it.

  5. If I hire you to paint my house during the week, I don’t get to dictate whether or not you paint other houses on the weekends.

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