As noted this past week, via Orlando reporter Jon Alba, an anonymous WWE employee named "John" (likely for John Doe) submitted public comments at Tuesday's Board of County Commissioners meeting in Orange County, Florida, to speak out against the ongoing WWE TV tapings from the closed-set Performance Center in Orlando, FL. A WWE employee named "John" submitted public comment that said they're being "forced to work" the WWE TV tapings, despite the coronavirus stay-at-home orders. "John" reportedly said he's unable to speak out and feels he will be fired from WWE if he approaches his higher-ups. "John" added that despite sanitary precautions at the Performance Center, employees are unable to maintain social distancing at the WWE TV tapings, and they have to touch others. They've requested the government shut down the WWE tapings so everyone can follow social distancing rules without fear of losing their jobs.
Sources from within WWE, via @Wrestlevotes, dismissed the accusations and said WWE has not forced anyone to work during the pandemic. It had been reported for weeks, by multiple sources, that both WWE and AEW officials informed employees that they did not have to work during the COVID-19 pandemic if they didn't feel comfortable doing so, and that their decisions would not be held against them in the future.
Furthermore, WWE issued the following statement to us in response to the anonymous complaint: "These accusations aren't true. Employees know they can confidentially go to Human Resources, not the public. Notwithstanding the appropriate protocol, no one would be fired if they were uncomfortable with their surroundings. We've made accommodations for individuals upon request."
In an update, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that there are talents in WWE who expressed concern about working during the outbreak. There are also others who recognize the risks and are concerned, but have said that from a WWE standpoint they don't think there is any kind of a solution that is good, including the option of shutting down because of so many economic issues that would bring. With that said, it was also said across the board no one can come up with any kind of logical reason that WWE should be using WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler at this time, given his age and previous health issues, and the fact that they're not practicing social distancing guidelines with him. The Observer pointed to the RAW segment that had Lawler, Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton at the announce table with RAW Tag Team Champions The Street Profits.
Local reporter Stephanie Coueignoux noted on Twitter this past week that she spoke with owners of two businesses near the WWE Performance Center in Orlando in regards to the company moving on with the tapings during the COVID-19 pandemic. One owner was said to be very concerned and alleged that he's seen WWE employees not following social distancing rules. The other owner reportedly said he's OK with shows, as long as they don't go near him, and he realizes everyone is trying to make a living.
I just spoke w/owners of 2 businesses near one of @WWE Orlando filming facilities. One owner is very concerned- says he's seen employees not practice social distancing. Other owner telling me everyone's trying to make a living. He's ok w/shows- as long as they don't go near him. pic.twitter.com/ZsfDA2ddcn— Stephanie Coueignoux (@StephanieCNews) April 21, 2020