Cross post from My Left Nutmeg
Celebrities from WWE talked to Turn of River Middle School students Tuesday about positive tools to help prevent bullying in their school.
The entertainers asked the students to take a pledge, in which they promise to “help others who have experienced bullying or are experiencing bullying by contacting an adult, the authorities or intervening.”
Oh the hypocrisy!
…As those who follow the peculiar pro wrestling industry know, WWE became part of the Be A Star campaign in the first place only because the company was dealing with the public relations fallout of controversial actions, gestures, and public utterances of its performers, which put them at odds with organizations such as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. See, for example, “WWE misleads GLAAD with their ‘punishment’ of CM Punk,” by Keith Harris, Cageside Seats, July 7, 2011, http://www.cagesideseats.com/2011/7/7/2263923/wwe-misleads-glaad-with-their-punishment-of-cm-punk.
See also “WWE’s Be a Star campaign a joke in light of John Cena’s behavior,” by Sergio Hernandez, Cageside Seats, October 11, 2011, http://www.cagesideseats.com/2011/10/4/2467601/wwes-be-a-star-campaign-is-a-joke-in-light-of-john-cenas-behavior.
There are many, many parallel examples, and I would be happy to put you in touch with other wrestling journalists who could enumerate them.
And I would make the further point that WWE’s blatantly bullying ways, both external and internal, are well known to continue; they are just too ingrained in the McMahon family’s corporate culture and personal style. Recently, to great televised and dressing-room glee, the Monday Night Raw program on the USA cable network broadcast a parody of on-and-off announcer and company executive Jim Ross. Mocking Mr. Ross’s bouts with the disease Bell’s Palsy, which has partially paralyzed his face, the talent performing the parody twisted his own mouth theatrically and grotesquely, while a commentator chimed in with unrestrained mirth. Here, the on-air bullying anecdote harshly illuminated the same methods in WWE’s backstage relations with its own employees.