SAG-AFTRA, the United States’ leading union for individuals working in the entertainment industry – has confirmed their intention to “directly engage” with professional wrestling. The move comes after recently released WWE Superstar Zelina Vega publicly backed unionisation.
Commonly known as the Screen Actors Guild, SAG-AFTRA’s president Gabrielle Carteris issued a statement to Jon Alba of Spectrum Sports 360 after she and the official Screen Actors Guild Twitter account backed Vega for speaking out about the possibility of unionisation in professional wrestling.
“Wrestling is as much about media as it is sports, and we are going to directly engage with members of this profession to help find ways for them to protect themselves. ‘As more people reinvest in unions, and as more working people are harassed by employers who don’t want to protect them, SAG-AFTRA is committed to doing what we can to help professional wrestlers secure the protections they deserve.’
I inquired with @sagaftra president @TheGabrielle_C following her tweet recognizing @Zelina_VegaWWE’s call for unionization. This is her statement response, which seems to be one of the first times SAG-AFTRA is publicly offering support for pro wrestlers. #WWEpic.twitter.com/jX4E6To5oo
— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) November 16, 2020
It’s important to note that, despite this response coming from the fallout of WWE releasing Zelina Vega, SAG-AFTRA refer to professional wrestling as a whole and not solely WWE. Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has publicly backed the possibility of wrestlers joining SAG-AFTRA, tweeting his support:
“Pro wrestlers joining SAG-AFTRA makes a lot of sense to me. They star in some of the highest-rated shows on TV each week.”