Yesterday (Oct. 20), WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon touted her company’s latest award-of-nebulous-distinction... PR News’ Corporation of the Year for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibillity) and Non-Profits.
So proud of the @WWECommunity team & all their hard work to make @WWE the 2020 Corporation of the Year at this year’s @PRNews CSR & Nonprofit Awards! WWE's mission is to put smiles on faces & it could not be done without the hard work & passion of this incredible team! https://t.co/yePZaa5Odo— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) October 20, 2020
PRNewsOnline.com’s blurb explaining the decision to go with WWE in this category will sound familiar to anyone who’s watched Raw, SmackDown, and NXT to see Steph’s “philanthropy is the future of marketing” mantra in action:
“By working with and supporting organizations like Make-A-Wish, Susan G. Komen and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, WWE is flexing its corporate social responsibility muscle and making a difference in many people’s lives.
Through its recently re-imagined four community service pillars of Hope, Inclusion, Empowerment and Service, WWE is igniting social change and bringing communities closer together.”
And those are certainly good works. But in combination with things like the company’s decision to go forward with shows in Saudi Arabia after the state-ordered murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, or their continued employment & promotion of past & current talent accused of racism or sex crimes, McMahon touting the award drew a lot of reactions like this one:
Actually, many were less PG. But you get the idea. In terms of substantive responses, the most timely one is probably what former WWE Superstar and current AEW & Bellator roster member Jake Hager opted to go with:
The former Jack Swagger’s tagging of politician Andrew Yang also gave the former Democratic presidential candidate another opportunity to remind the world there could actually be consequences for WWE’s policies & practices regarding independent contractors if he gets a job in a potential Joe Biden cabinet next year.
Time will change under new leadership.— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) October 20, 2020
So, yeah... not much more to say. Congrats on that award though, Steph.