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WWE issues statement on accusations of sexism

WWE

WWE

Two storylines on WWE programming this week caused some stir online and led to accusations of WWE being sexist towards women.

The first storyline was Ric Flair kissing Becky Lynch in her match with Charlotte at the Royal Rumble PPV. The second storyline was on RAW when The Rock told Rusev that he had a sexual encounter with Lana two years ago.

Alex Groot wrote an article on Vocativ.com, called “WWE’s Looming Sexism Problem”. Here is an excerpt from that article:

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Sadly, such treatment is nothing new for Lana, real name C.J. Perry, who was once positioned in storyline as a strong, confident manager and mouthpiece for Rusev, the “Bulgarian Brute” who tore through much of the roster upon his arrival. But before long, John Cena was calling her a “ho” and suggesting she performed favors to procure matches, rival Ryback was taunting her about “going all the way” with a fellow competitor, and lead commentator Michael Cole led off an interview by probing into her sexual history.

What do all these characters have in common? They were positioned as babyfaces in their storylines, the good guys that fans were expected to support and cheer for. That, for far too long, has been the strange ethos of the WWE, where women are objects, crude name calling is to be cheered, and slut-shaming is righteous. Indeed, it is no secret that the company has a checkered, problematic past, not only with women, but with race, homophobia, and taking care of its own employees. The empire Vince McMahon built has a rather retrograde history, much like that of American professional wrestling, more broadly.

WWE issued an official statement to Vocativ:

“WWE programming, which features fictional characters that cover a range of personalities similar to movies and television shows, tells stories of good versus evil. In addition, as our on-going storylines develop, we will continue to position women as both strong competitors and compelling individuals.”