It is clear that WWE is taking the situation with Saudi Arabia seriously as more companies back out of plans to do business in that part of the world. WWE has paused on mentioning Saudi Arabia on their social media accounts.
Since Tuesday, there have been very few mentions to the Crown Jewel show across their social media accounts. As you can see in the clip below, the Crown Jewel show is mentioned but nothing is said about Saudi Arabia. In fact, there have been no mentions of Saudi Arabia on WWE social media accounts since Tuesday night, shortly before the news broke about the alleged murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey.
— WWE (@WWE) October 12, 2018
The last tweet from WWE where Saudi Arabia was mentioned was on Tuesday night, shortly before the news broke about the alleged murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
— WWE (@WWE) October 10, 2018
On Thursday, WWE sent out a short statement to the media that says they are monitoring the situation. On Friday, several senators called on WWE to rethink their business agreement with Saudi Arabia and Dave Meltzer reported that the company has been talking about a backup plan in case the show in Saudi Arabia is canceled.
As of this writing, they are still moving forward as if the show will take place but the pressure is mounting and it’s hard to see how they can continue with plans to go to Saudi Arabia without a major backlash from fans and the media. Privately, several wrestlers have said that they hope the show gets canceled.
Here is a list of some of the individuals and businesses severing ties with Saudi Arabia:
– Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Group
– Google-linked executive Dan Doctoroff
– The New York Times pulled its sponsorship of the Future Investment Initiative (FII)
– Huffington Post mogul Arianna Huffington has pulled out of FII
– Viacom CEO Robert Bakish pulled out of FII
– Harbour Group, a US lobbying firm that represented the Saudi government
– NY Times columnist Andrew Sorkin pulled out of FII
– Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of the LA Times, pulled out of FII
– Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi pulled out of FII
– CNN, CNBC, the Financial Times and Bloomberg have withdrawn as media sponsors for FII
Furthermore, nearly two dozen United States senators have sent a letter to Donald Trump recommending an investigation and possible sanctions against those found to be involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Republican and Democratic lawmakers are also pushing to block Saudi arm sales.