No one on the WWE roster has come out and directly addressed this week’s flurry of reports about the company’s policy on engaging with third party platforms like Twitch and Cameo. But a handful of talent have tweeted about how meaningful their online gaming channels and communities are to them.
Paige, who announced when Vince McMahon first informed the company’s contractors about the edict that she was switching to her real name on Twitch, has come closest to specifically talking about WWE taking over accounts:
Twitch is MY place what I built with my wonderful fans. A place where people can go and feel some positivity and little bit of normalcy. Fun. Interactive. Non judgemental. Charitable place. I’m proud of what I built with my fan base.— SARAYA (@RealPaigeWWE) October 2, 2020
Nah difference is I grinded for 15 years for my fan base that I brought over to twitch. Also dropping raids and 50 bombs on smaller streamers to help them grow. Not for bitter people like you though. Work hard and you’ll get a fan base to. https://t.co/IeBSxPxpnp— SARAYA (@RealPaigeWWE) October 2, 2020
Others have followed the lead of her initial tweet, and emphasized the good their streams have done - for themselves and others:
And host charities for people and animals in need. Yesterday we raised enough money to help someone get their cat the surgery they needed to survive. We love what we built and worked hard for.— (@Zelina_VegaWWE) October 2, 2020
Gaming has been my escape from reality and a way to interact with friends and fans throughout this difficult few months.— The HBIC (@MiaYim) October 3, 2020
The community that I gained on twitch also help me raise funds for a friends burial expense and a friend’s kidney transplant.
This is why I game.
Starting Twitch up again was purely for three reasons; to have fun as a gamer, communicate with y’all during a difficult year and to give as much possible back to different charities.— ℭ (@DakotaKai_WWE) October 2, 2020
Thank u all for the continued support
In addition to being nice statements of unity and inclusion at a time when the world feels in short supply on both, these aren’t bad public relations moves. Tweets like Paige, Zelina Vega, Mia Yim, and Dakota Kai’s on this issue continue something that’s been started by fans, the media, and even public figures like Andrew Yang - the positioning of WWE as the “big bad”.
Unfortunately, WWE has repeatedly shown a willingness to point to their bottom line, citing their corporate responsibility to maximize shareholder value as justification for moves some find reprehensible or immoral.
There’s no reason to believe this time will be any different.