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Here’s a WWE executive boasting about WWE’s pandemic response

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John Brody works for WWE, where he is the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sales and Partnerships.

Brody recently spoke to Sport Hiatus and boasted about WWE’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what he had to say on the topic, courtesy of Fightful:

“The health and safety of our superstars is first and foremost paramount. It comes down to leadership in many ways. Our leader [Vince McMahon] believes we have a social responsibility to put fans first and to help them get a break from what was coming and what we’re in the midst of. We have a responsibility to take them away for a few hours and give them a smile and a chance to feel something other than what they’re watching, which is also important, on the news. We leaned in to say ‘we’re going to put fans first’ and do everything we can, working with state, local, and federal officials to make sure it’s safe for our most important resource, the WWE superstars, and we’re going to do whatever we can to deliver content for our partners and our fans.”

“We wouldn’t have made the decision we made if we didn’t think we could do it safely for our internal (staff) and for all those affected, but we felt America needed it and needed the ‘pick me up.’”

I am well aware that this guy is an executive who is going to praise the company he works for, of course, but that doesn’t mean I won’t call out his BS when I see it.

For starters, he claims that safety and health of the superstars is paramount to WWE. That’s clearly a lie, because WWE went about three months without testing the wrestlers for COVID-19.

Next, he says that Vince McMahon believes it’s WWE’s social responsibility to keep churning out new content. The reality is that it serves WWE’s business interests to keep churning out fresh content, because they have massive television contracts that will make this WWE’s most profitable year in history, even in the face of empty arenas for such a big chunk of the calendar.

There’s nothing socially responsible about having all of these wrestlers frequently traveling the country, while not testing them for coronavirus, and potentially spreading the virus to parts unknown. Socially responsible behavior means acting in ways that benefit society at large. That can involve balancing economic considerations, but it’s clear that WWE is heavily prioritizing profits over people.

As for the idea that America needs WWE content for a pick me up, Raw’s sinking viewership data over the last few months suggests that America isn’t broadcasting its overwhelming need for WWE content in a noticeable manner.

Brody ultimately contradicts himself when he says that the health of the superstars is the number one priority, but then he also says that WWE will do “whatever we can” to deliver content each week.

The reason it’s a contradiction is because WWE’s actions during this time have shown that doing “whatever we can” to create content means putting the superstars’ health at higher risk, as evidenced by a possible COVID-19 outbreak in WWE right now. WWE isn’t shutting things down for a couple weeks to ensure the alarming situation doesn’t get out of control. Nope, they are moving right along with an adjusted taping schedule. That’s because their priority is doing “whatever we can” to create content and get that television money, even if that means increasing the risk level for their superstars and crew.

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