Possible ‘Ramifications’ For WWE Twitch Policy

2 years ago by Liam Winnard

Possible ‘Ramifications’ For WWE Twitch Policy

WWE could be facing some “ramifications” for its policy on talent not being able to stream on Twitch following the release of Zelina Vega on Friday.

Dave Meltzer discussed the release and WWE’s third party stance on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, comparing WWE to FedEx which got into legal trouble due to its treatment of independent contractors.

He said:

“The gist that I could gather from her was that she was sad that it ended, there was no way around it so it’s what happened. What happens from it is going to be very interesting because of Andrew Yang and Gabrielle Carteris and you know, that opens up a big deal and how it all plays out, it will be interesting to find out. I mean the one thing is, is that… there’s so much to this. If they were employees, then WWE would have a say so in telling them not to do this but it’s independent contractors. Trying to say that Twitch is a competitor to WWE… it’s like saying you can’t work for a direct competitor like AEW, okay, as an independent contractor you can do that but Twitch is not a competitor to WWE. So saying that on your off time, when you’re not on their clock and you’re independent, you can’t do a Twitch thing, now they can obviously say you cannot use the name Zelina Vega but it’s more than that. This was not about her refusing to change her name from Zelina Vega to Thea Budgen or Thea Trinidad or whatever, you know, it wasn’t that. It was like you have to drop this and that becomes real tricky when you’re supposed to be an independent contractor and people are looking at that.

“It’s not the end of the world for her but the ramifications, especially right now, for WWE making the move right now, its a tricky one because they have people who are looking at them. This is an issue that’s been around for 40 years and how they get away with it because they are a small company in certain ways, they don’t employ a lot of people. Its not like FedEx, you know, and FedEx which is a way bigger company than WWE got hammered on this very same issue, but that’s because they’re a bigger, stronger company and they’re in the public eye. WWE really isn’t. But WWE’s completely violating the standards of what the difference is. I mean, its completely violating it. It’s not even a debatable point. I guess some people can debate it but I don’t see how you debate it. Some people are like ‘oh, they’re not going to introduce a new law, it has to go through two houses’ and it’s like no, you just have to enforce the code that’s already there and somebody should go look.”

Since Vega’s release, SAG-AFTRA (the largest labor union in the US) have said they are “committed to doing what we can to help professional wrestlers secure the protections they deserve”.

Quotes via Sportskeeda

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