On John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight show last night, WWE came under serious fire. Oliver berated WWE’s CEO Vince McMahon for his company’s treatment of their “employees”.
After noting how he was a wrestling fan during his younger years, Oliver delved into the darker side of professional wrestling. He looked at the high mortality rate amongst wrestlers and drew upon McMahon’s supposed domination of the industry. He also referenced some of the many controversial on-screen moments, such as Vince McMahon’s “relationship” with WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus, and his use of the racially insensitive language in front of fellow WWE Hall of Famer, Booker T.
**WARNING: Strong Language**
Oliver’s main gripe with the company was the treatment of their wrestlers. WWE say their talent are not “employees” but instead “independent contractors”. This allows the company to get away with not providing health insurance for their wrestlers, nor any sort of pension scheme.
Oliver cited Bret Hart’s “Wrestling With Shadows” documentary to back up his claims. John did acknowledge that the company do sometimes get things right, like having their female talent main event WrestleMania in six days, but he said that more often than not, WWE makes poor decisions.
If you can, try and watch Oliver’s segment. It makes for some very interesting viewing.