News broke on Friday that WWE allegedly told its performers that they would no longer be able to use third-party platforms to promote themselves, such as Cameo. According to reports, the wrestlers have 30 days to comply or else they will face fines, suspensions or firing. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang heard this news, and he aimed WWE and Vince McMahon.
"If I'm not the Secretary of Labor I'm pretty confident I'll have his or her number to talk about the ridiculous classification of WWE wrestlers as independent contractors while controlling their name and likeness for years, even for something as benign as Cameo," Yang tweeted on Friday. "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.
"I grew up a wrestling fan and it's been sad to see so many of my childhood heroes pass away early," Yang continued. "I'd feel better knowing that they and their families were being fairly treated - I look forward to doing what I can for the next generation of performers. I know how tough it is. Vince you'd better hope your old friend Donald [Trump] wins because change is in the air and changes are long overdue where your corrupt labor practices are concerned. It would give me great pleasure. The people know."
In the original report from Wrestling, Inc., WWE allegedly told performers that they owned their stage names, as well as their real names. The policy allegedly said that marketing themselves on third-party platforms goes against company policy. However, WWE stated to ComicBook and specifically only mentioned the stage names.
"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," the statement read. "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."