WWE responds to ‘Tea Party’ bashing complaints

Feb 19, 2013 - by Steve Likoski

The WWE responded to right-wing criticism that the Zeb and Jack Swagger storyline is a slam against the conservative Tea Party movement, and indicated it has no intention of reining in the perceived partisanship.

Conservative site Breitbart.com noted:

Over the past two weeks Jack Swagger and his “great American” manager Zeb Colter into the ring to lecture the crowd on “true patriotism,” which apparently means immigrant-bashing and veiled racism of the pair “talking about freeloading immigrants and welfare recipients in front of the Gadsden flag, which has become symbolic of the Tea Party.”

One video also has Colter delivering a “state of the union” address behind a podium emblazoned with, “Don’t tread on me,” which has become a popular Tea Party slogan.

The website Twitchy, run by conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, also did its part to push the narrative that the WWE was engaging in partisan propaganda by insinuating a couple of its villains are Tea Partiers.

The WWE didn’t confirm or deny that the characters represent the Tea Party, only that the storyline represented “current events.” Nor did it indicate a willingness to alter its scripts based on partisan complaints.

Brian Flinn, WWE’s senior vp of marketing and communications said:

“WWE has a long history of creating fictional characters that serve as either protagonists or antagonists, no different than other television shows or feature films. To create compelling and relevant content for our audience, it is important to incorporate current events into our storylines,”

“WWE is creating drama centered on a topical subject that has varying points of view to develop a rivalry between two characters. This storyline in no way represents WWE’s political point of view. One should not confuse WWE’s storytelling with what WWE stands for, similar to other entertainment companies such as Warner Brothers, Universal Studios or Viacom.”

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

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