Over the past week, news hit the wire that the WWE was shutting down the Youtube, Cameo and Twitch channels of their Superstars, at the behest of Vince McMahon, but now we have a bit more clarification on the company’s new rules.
According to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, a talent meeting was held prior to this Monday’s RAW, where talent was told that they could keep their channels on YouTube and Twitch, without consequences, but only if they use their real names and informed the company about their accounts.
However, the rules regarding Cameo are still not crystal clear, but there is a belief that it wouldn’t be allowed.
WWE released a statement over the weekend that seemed to fuel reports that they were going to shut down YouTube channels and Twitch streams of their superstars, who are labeled as independent contractors, which sparked outrage among fans and the community.
“Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman,” WWE said in the statement issued over the weekend.
“It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a companywide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved.”
The initial news caused a bit of debate on social media, with former presidential candidate Andrew Yang chiming in and accusing WWE and Vince McMahon of corrupt labor practices.
Come on Vince – you’ve already deprived the folks breaking their backs for you of healthcare, security, recovery time, retirement benefits and fair treatment re: licenses and royalties. At least let them make a living off their own names. Many of them need it.
— Andrew Yang??? (@AndrewYang) September 5, 2020