World Wrestling Entertainment Wants to Incorporate LGBT Characters into Future Storylines
By, Christian Meade
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Chief Brand Officer, Stephanie McMahon, has recently shared her ideas on making the sport more inclusive by introducing new LGBT characters and storylines in its weekly programming in the “near future.”
"Throughout my life I have grown up knowing gay [WWE] superstars and executives. It's always been accepted, but now it's about getting that message out there." She added, “when it makes sense . . . absolutely, we will integrate LGBT storylines into our programming."
And to make sure that the LGBT community is portrayed fairly and accurately, the WWE has partnered with Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD). "We've had GLAAD come in and speak to our entire writing team and give a whole tutorial on sensitivities, the right words, the wrong words [and] why those words matters. I think that with their guidance and support, we will be able to portray that [LGBT storyline] appropriately."
McMahon also spoke on wrestling icon Pat Patterson’s book Accepted, in which he talks about his experience being gay in the wrestling world. Patterson made headlines for being the first wrestler to openly come out on the WWE Network show, Legends' House. “It's about his life as a gay wrestler and how from the beginning of his career he had to hide that," McMahon explained. "He first came out . . . on a show on WWE Network called Legends' House. It was a reality show with a bunch of our legends, and he had such a positive response. It was so warm and supportive that he then decided to tell his story."
WWE has taken a pro-LGBT stance before when in May they encouraged their fans to voice their disapproval of House Bill 2 in North Caroline with the hashtag #RepealHB2. GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis commended the stance WWE had taken saying “WWE is a strong partner for the LGBT community, and we are so pleased to see the company standing up for LGBT North Carolinians and against this discriminatory law. It’s time for Governor McCrory and the state’s leaders to heed the calls of citizens, as well as the business and entertainment industries, and abandon this misguided decision to write hate into law.”
Stay tuned to see how the WWE incorporates LGBT characters and story lines into its future programming.