Former WWE Employee Admits “It’s Not The Best Place To Work If You’re A Person Of Colour”

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On April 26th it was revealed that former WWE writer Britney Abrahams is suing the company and individual staff alleging “discriminatory treatment, harassment, hostile work environment, wrongful termination, unlawful retaliation against the Plaintiff due to her race, color, and gender.”

Abrahams claims that she was discriminated against and retaliated against after she objected to what was described as “offensively racist and stereotypical jargon” used in segments for Black performers such as Bianca Belair, Apollo Crews, and others.

The lawsuit also highlights a pitch where Mansoor would be “behind the 9/11 attacks” and another where Shane Thorne, a White wrestler, would “hunt” Reggie, a Black wrestler.

Speaking during an appearance on Fightful’s In The Weeds, former writer Dave Schilling discussed his own experience of working for the company. He explained that people within the organisation aren’t as sensitive to “certain things” as perhaps they should be in 2023.

“My thoughts were probably similar to a lot of people who are people of color who work for WWE, which is, not terribly surprising that someone would be upset about things they experienced at the company. It’s not the best place to work if you’re a person of color, you’re a woman, you’re LGBTQ. It’s difficult because there are a lot of people there who are older, who are maybe not as sensitive to certain things, and at the end of the day, the person who makes the decisions is Vince McMahon. Even today, Vince has a lot of power and a lot of say so in what goes on the air and Vince isn’t the world’s most sensitive person,”

Schilling added that everything that appears on television is there because it appeals to Vince McMahon.

“It’s all about what Vince likes. A lot of these broad caricatures are things that Vince likes. I can’t speak to what happened after I left, but I’m sure he thought that Apollo Crews doing an accent was going to get over. You look at the history of WWE, and there are tons of examples of stereotypical characters. This is not a new thing or a new phenomenon.”

When asked about what needs to happen within WWE to change the environment, Schilling suggested that the likes of McMahon, Michael Hayes, and Bruce Prichard need to move away from creative.

“A lot of people have to retire. I don’t know if we need to continue to hear what Michael Hayes has to say about storylines. I think he can put together an amazing match, but do I need to hear Michael Hayes, or Vince McMahon, or Bruce Prichard tell people in their 30s, 20s, children, what is entertaining? This is no knock on them, they’ve all done amazing things in the wrestling business and given me decades of enjoyment. They were all very nice to me.

There needs to be more youthful energy in wrestling. AEW has done a good job of presenting their characters in a way that is more appealing to younger audiences. WWE, in a lot of ways, Roman Reigns and the Bloodline are very modern characters and exciting and cool, and even though they are heels, they are thought of as cool. The people making the decisions are old, and at some point, those people need to move aside.

Tony Khan, as a booker of AEW, is doing a good job, but he’s not surrounding himself with younger people. He’s not surrounding himself with a team of writers who can say, ‘this is cool, this is not cool.’ Not to say Tony doesn’t know what’s cool, he’s probably my age and as checked in as I can be in my mid-30s. We need to have that youthful energy.

That’s what is so exciting about AEW and, on some levels, WWE, but there needs to be more. The more people of a certain age step aside, the better it will be for everyone and there will be less of this kind of tension between the sensibilities of 2023 and the sensibilities of 1987.

That’s the hardest part about working there. Those guys don’t get it sometimes, and you wish they did.”

You can find more information about the lawsuit here.

H/t to Fightful