Wrestling Inc. has learned that Vince McMahon sent an email to talent this week reminding them that they have until this Friday, October 2nd, to sever any unauthorized business relationships with third parties. It was noted that talent who fail to comply could be fined, suspended or terminated.
As Wrestling Inc. first exclusively reported in September, McMahon issued an edict instructing talent that they can no longer engage with third parties. The company later clarified the edict, stating that talent could maintain Twitch and YouTube accounts under their real names, however they would still need to inform the company of those accounts.
Wrestling Inc. has also learned that talent were told this week that the company will be taking control of their Twitch accounts in four weeks. WWE will own those accounts, however talent will receive a percentage of the revenue, which counts against their downside guarantees.
Former Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang openly criticized the edict when it was first revealed last month, and said that he would take action if Joe Biden were to be elected President. Yang spoke with Wrestling Inc. recently about why he feels that WWE has been able to get away with some of their labor practices.
“A lot of it is that wrestlers are afraid to speak out, and I’ve had wrestlers past and present reach out to me and say that Vince has been getting away with exploitation of wrestlers calling them independent contractors while controlling their activities for years and years,” Yang said. “A lot of it is just that they are a quasi-monopoly, and wrestlers fear that if they do try and unionize or organize in any way that Vince doesn’t like, that it will never work again.”
We have reached out to WWE and will provide updates if we receive any.