Andrew Yang On How A Joe Biden And Kamala Harris Win Could Help WWE Wrestlers
Filed to GERWECK.NET:
Wrestling Inc. – Andrew Yang Interview
Conducted by Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman
Audio Link – https://audioboom.com/posts/7682311-wwe-s-latest-cutbacks-wobbly-walrus-mandy-rose-to-raw-feat-andrew-yang
On how Vince McMahon has been able to get away with the treatment of WWE’s talent:
A lot of it, Nick, 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. 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.
On when he realized Vince wasn’t treating his talent well:
It was literally decades ago. I was a wrestling fan from childhood in the ’80s, and when I became old enough to understand a bit of how the rules work around employees/independent contractors’ benefits, it was clear the WWE was exploiting performers back then, and back then, there wasn’t much I could do about it I would say. I was just like any other fan. I’ve known for quite some time, and I think a lot of fans have known for a long time, Nick, that performers are being unfairly treated and mis-categorized.
On why Congress or the Federal government hasn’t done anything about Vince McMahon’s practices in the past:
A lot of it is that wrestling, for some reason, seems to fall outside the bounds of mainstream, political consideration, which strikes me as very bizarre. I mean you’re talking about a multi-billion dollar industry that millions of fans tune in to every single week. So wouldn’t you be attentive to the fact that they are clear violations of employment law going on at any given time?
Part of it too is that these labor issues tend to fall under the National Labor Relations Board, which typically intervenes if there are attempts to unionize that are brought to them or retaliation claims that are brought to them and because the WWE has such a stranglehold on the livelihood of so many wrestlers, there haven’t been people that have even raised action with the National Labor Relations Board in order for it to reach a certain point.
On if he would make reforming WWE’s practices a priority if he is a part of the potential Joe Biden – Kamala Harris administration:
I would, and we’re going to get it done. I mean there have been performers that have reached out to me, again both past and present, who have very direct experience and knowledge with how closely the WWE controls and manages performer activities while claiming, on the other hand, that, ‘oh, no, you’re an independent contractor, you’re free agent. You can do whatever you want,’ which really makes no sense on the face of it.
I mean, we all know that talent can’t do a whole host of things. So it’s going to remain a priority for me, until this job gets done, and I’m confident that if Joe and Kamala take the White House later this year, that I’ll be in a position to help these performers get what’s been owed to them for years.
On if he has already brought up WWE’s treatment of it’s talent to Biden and Harris:
I talked to Joe and Kamala in the incidence of the campaign and helping them try to win. I have not had this conversation with them, no, but there will be due time, again, first things first, we have to get Trump out and win. But then after that, this is not going anywhere from my agenda, and it’s something that I can get done, I believe, pretty straightforwardly.