Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang made waves in the pro wrestling world last year at this time when he called out WWE’s “plain fucking greed.” He has repeatedly honed in on WWE classifying its wrestlers as independent contractors instead of employees, despite the fact that WWE imposes strict limitations on their wrestlers’ ability to make money on third party deals and work for other wrestling promotions.
On top of that, only a very small percentage of WWE’s total revenue is allocated for its wrestlers, so the workers are clearly missing out on significant money that would be going into their bank accounts in a fairer environment.
At the time, Yang suggested if Joe Biden won the 2020 United States presidential election over Donald Trump, then Vince McMahon’s government protection would be weakened and all bets were off.
Biden did go on to defeat Trump in the election last November, of course, so Yang followed up on his bluster by...mostly ignoring the plight of WWE’s wrestlers and instead running a losing campaign for mayor of New York City.
That election is a thing of the past, so naturally he’s back to talking about WWE again. Yang tweeted this morning that now is the time for WWE performers, past and present, to go get what they are owed by Vince McMahon:
Had a call with the Department of Labor. If you are a current or former @WWE performer who feels you were misclassified as an independent contractor contact @lkmiddleb and let’s get you what Vince owes you. Been a long time coming but this storyline is real.— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 16, 2021
Yang explains in follow up tweets that the Department of Labor is no longer “managed by someone who was very close to Vince” and is now “scrutinizing contractor misclassification.”
I’ll predict there’s no chance in hell that tweeting out some lawyer’s Twitter handle is going to result in mass organization among WWE wrestlers that will force McMahon to change his unfair labor practices and treatment. It just doesn’t sound like a well thought out plan for creating meaningful change.
But the story of WWE incorrectly classifying its wrestlers as independent contractors needs to be kept at the public forefront, so Yang’s tweets at least help serve that purpose.
What do you think about Andrew Yang inserting himself back in this story?