WWE Responds to John Oliver
He got an invite to WrestleMania... will he show?
The WWE has responded to John Oliver’s statements in his ‘Last Week Tonight’ segment. During the segment, Oliver slammed the WWE and his chairman for the mistreatment of WWE wrestlers. Now, the WWE has responded to the allegations made by Oliver.
What Did John Oliver Say?
Oliver made some inflammatory statements during his segment Last Week Tonight. During his rant, he addressed the health problems of WWE superstars and veterans. He also tackled the treatment of wrestling by WWE’s chairman Vince McMahon.
“While the character Vince is an a—hole, it’s important to know that the real Vince is also an a—hole”
“Many fans legitimately hate him. While the WWE has made him a billionaire, many wrestlers say he’s treated him terribly.”
During his segment, Oliver also made a point of the fact that wrestlers are considered as independent contractors with the WWE, despite the fact they are signing an exclusivity contract. He would also provide some examples of wrestlers who have been mistreated by the WWE, or worse.
“Vince McMahon has always had this mentality about treating wrestlers like circus animals. Bret “The Hitman” Hart, whose brother Owen died wrestling for WWE. There are all these wrestlers who have broke their backs making this living for years, end up with nothing when it’s over and then they sort of take you out back, put a slug in the back of your head and dump you out … That’s the life of a professional wrestler.”
How Did The WWE Respond?
Shortly after the segment aired, the story circulated among wrestling fans quite quickly. Naturally, this has forced the WWE to respond to the allegations made by Oliver. The official statement reads:
“John Oliver is clearly a clever and humorous entertainer, however the subject matter covered in his WWE segment is no laughing matter. Prior to airing, WWE responded to his producers refuting every point in his one-sided presentation. John Oliver simply ignored the facts.”
“The health and wellness of our performers is the single most important aspect of our business, and we have a comprehensive, longstanding Talent Wellness program. We invite John Oliver to attend WrestleMania this Sunday to learn more about our company.”
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There has been no response from John Oliver since the statement was released by the WWE. However, I would be surprised if he took up the WWE’s offer to attend WrestleMania on Sunday. Personally, I do not see how attending a show can help someone evaluate the health policies for wrestlers with the WWE, especially those who are set to retire. I have no doubt it is easy for the company to hide some of the inconvenient truths behind their wrestling business.
Oliver mentioned a lot in terms of physical health during the segment, but I wished he would have touched on mental health, too. A lot of former and current WWE wrestlers have expressed problems with mental health. Alicia Fox is rumored to have a problem with alcohol and has been AWOL for some time. Still, how does one thoroughly evaluate a company as big as the WWE?