A respected WWE name has opened up on the company’s business relationship with Saudi Arabia that has drawn its share of criticism.
With Saudi Arabia’s historic human rights record at the forefront of much online discussion whenever a show takes place there, Brian “Road Dogg” James has addressed the “savvy” business relationship.
Speaking on the Oh… You Didn’t Know podcast, the WWE Executive explained:
“It is a big deal and it’s a savvy business deal and I think it’s savvy for all involved.”
It was recently reported that WWE’s Saudi Arabia deal, which started in 2018, was for twenty events in total and was unlikely to be derailed by Endeavor’s purchase of the company.
James would go on to discuss the controversy of the arrangement, stating:
“Is it controversial? I don’t know. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re not talking about that. We’re going over there to put on a show and bring smiles to people’s faces.”
The Senior Vice President of Live Events would also express his belief that WWE doesn’t alter itself more in Saudi Arabia than it would for other restrictive cultures to which it tours, adding:
“You don’t want to offend them or a portion of them or any of them. You want to go and have a good time and so you have to bend, creatively.”
James would also touch on the initial ban on women competing and the restrictions on women’s attire that would follow.
He would explain that he’s accepted that other people in other cultures think differently to him, though would suggest it’s taken years for him to figure that.
While it did require a rethinking of creative plans, James said it wasn’t “as big a deal” for him to deal with as it was for the women on the roster.
He would conclude the thought by saying that he imagines that “women have seen this king of thing before” while noting that the US is “very progressive” compared to some other countries around the world.
Transcript from Wrestling Inc.
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