Former US Presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently sat down for an interview with Chris Van Vliet to speak about WWE’s new edict on its wrestlers using third-party platforms such as Twitch and Cameo.
This interview was set up after Yang took issue with WWE’s new edict on social media over the weekend, calling the “classification of WWE wrestlers as independent contractors while controlling their name and likeness” ridiculous.
During the interview, Yang spoke openly about some of WWE’s business practices, noting that Vince McMahon can’t continue to release and fire talent when he still owns a billion-dollar company.
He also spoke about whether he’d be involved in a storyline which dealt with the issue of wrestlers being classified as “independent contractors” by WWE, where he said he’d actually be open to the idea:
“This story is dead real but there are a lot of storylines that melded reality with fiction. If this ends up being part of a narrative, I’d be open to it because, I think the fans know, they understand what’s going on. It’s one reason why fans support AEW. They get this negative vibe from WWE about the way talent is being treated and you can tell that has nothing to do with the bottom line anymore. The McMahons have made so much money, they have money to where they’re investing in football leagues. If you’re a wrestler, breaking your back, and the WWE is like ‘oh, we can’t afford you, you’re fired.’ It like, ‘Well, you probably could have afford me if you could afford to lose tens of millions on [The XFL] debacle.’ The affordability argument does not apply to WWE the way it applies to every other firm. If you look at AEW, I have a feeling that their economics are real. WWE does not have those constraints anymore because it’s a public company. If your company is worth $3.3 billion and you’re mistreating workers, that’s just shameful, really shameful. There was a point in the distant past where you could have made a legitimate argument based upon cost, but now you can’t. Now, it’s just plain f*cking greedy. We can all see it.”
Yang is hoping to be part of Joe Biden’s cabinet as the Secretary of Labour should Biden be elected as President. However, Yang noted that whether he is part of the cabinet or not, he’ll work on dealing with WWE’s businesses practises:
“Will I forget about this? Hell no. Vince and the gang, they thrive because the mainstream press won’t do anything because it’s wrestling. The wrestlers don’t say a damn thing because they know it will come down on them like a ton of bricks. So, ‘let’s keep exploiting people, make our millions, and we’ll get away with it for decades and decades.’ The bill is coming due and I’m going to be the person that does it or the person who is there when it’s done and it’s going to give me great pleasure because the people know.”
During the interview, Andrew Yang actually revealed that he was contacted by someone within WWE about the company’s new edict on third=party platforms. You can read more about that by clicking here.
Thanks to Fightful for the transcription.