Linda and Vince McMahon’s WWE: Good for Connecticut but Bad for Humanity?

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An article today in Hearst’s Connecticut newspapers, by reporter Brian Lockhart, takes the debate over the U.S. Senate candidacy of World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder Linda McMahon exactly where I think  it should go.

I strongly encourage everyone to read “Even McMahon’s foes admit WWE is good for Connecticut,” On Lockhart’s blog, Political Capitol, he briefly touches on a related topic in a piece headlined “Lawmakers all bark, no bite when it comes to WWE?”,

There is much to discuss here about the tension between business development and moralism, and about the fascinating historical roles of key Connecticut political figures – most notably Lowell Weicker, the former senator and governor. In the coming weeks and months I hope to get into all of these topics in more depth.

But one aspect of the increased scrutiny of WWE operations, as a result of McMahon’s run for high elective office, overshadows all others. That is the shockingly abysmal occupational health and safety record of a global industry that WWE both dominates in the marketplace and largely controls on the creative side. In this area, Lockhart’s piece quotes me, along with Cary Ichter, the lawyer for Chris Benoit’s father and a member of the Georgia Athletic Commission.

Let’s move that ball down the field. One way to do that is to expose exactly what is said in the written agreement between WWE and its “independent contractor” talent. If taken to the regulatory, legislative, judicial, and constitutional mat, would such contract language prevail? And if the answer to that question is yes, do we as a society want it to prevail?

A bedrock subject — about which more in future posts. Meanwhile, bone up on Lockhart.

Irv Muchnick

1 Comment

  1. […] House’s co-interviewers are Daniela Altimari of the Hartford Courant and Brian Lockhart of the Stamford Advocate. Both already have contributed valuable coverage of the McMahon campaign. Altimari wrote a profile of McMahon, which I discussed here. Lockhart wrote a piece exploring the tension between critics expressing distaste for McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment, and the reality of WWE’s economic impact on the state; I discussed that story here. […]

Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick