Andrew Yang Says Someone In WWE Informed Him Of Policy Against Third Party Platforms

On September 4 it was reported Vince McMahon sent a message to talent, asking them to stop engaging on third-party platforms such as Cameo and Twitch.

Fightful Select reported at the time "Many main roster members hadn't even heard of the news and had only glanced over a letter, while others were livid about the request."

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In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang revealed that one talent reached out to him, which caused him to speak out against the policy.

"I got a message from someone who is part of the WWE, pointing out to me the story about WWE saying 'don't go on Cameo or Twich.' It infuriated me because I know that the WWE has been trying to play it both ways for years where on one hand 'you can't do anything without our say so, we own you, but you're an independent contractor and we have nothing to do with your health, retirement, or any benefits you get that would accrue to an employee.' To me, you have to make a choice at some point. If you're going to control all of these aspects of a performers waking life, you should take some responsibility for that person in the bigger picture. If they have a kid, they get maternity or paternity leave or an offseason. I say this as a longtime fan of the sport, they're putting their lives and health on the line all the time. They made Vince a billionaire and the fact that he's so heavy-handed about their ability to make a simple buck on Cameo struck me as so absurd, ridiculous, and wrong. I've been on the side of MMA fighters who are in a similar boat with UFC and Dana White. Because I got this note from a performer, I said, 'It's past time someone calls Vince out for this' because if Joe [Biden] and Kamala [Harris] win, I may be able to do something about it," he said.

Yang is supporting Presidential candidate Joe Biden in the upcoming election and hopes to take the position of Secretary of Labor in Biden's cabinet. Even if he is not appointed to the position, he said he will speak to Biden and potential Vice President Kamala Harris about WWE's practices.

When asked if wrestlers have any responsibility in the matter as they are the ones who signed the contracts, Yang said, "I've heard from a performer who is not happy with this particular clarification. The truth of it is, there is a vastly uneven bargaining table at work where, if you're a performer and WWE says, 'Hey, here is this contract and we're going to stick a bunch of things in it that you think are unfair or ridiculous or exploitative,' at the end of the day, you feel you have no choice but to sign that contract because WWE holds the keys to the kingdom."

Yang noted that he is rooting for AEW to succeed in order to give performers another option and potentially more negotiating power with WWE.

When asked if anything can change in WWE, Yang replied, "A lot can change. WWE has a choice. 'We're going to treat you as independent contractors and you can do whatever you want in your off time and we don't have a lot of say-so over your activities' or you can start treating them like employees, which they are, and you introduce real benefits, including a real union or professional association and real negotiation. If you saw that happen, real quickly, you'd have a lot of performers come out of the woodwork and say, if they weren't fearful of losing their job, they'd say, 'I'd love it if we had recovery time, better health care.' Then you'd see a real transformation. It needs to be on the table, it's long overdue. You have folks like Jesse Venture trying to organize this sort of thing before, but Vince has always managed to keep the ball moving. I can promise you, if I'm a part of the Biden administration and I can do something about this, I will."

Elsewhere during the interview, Yang called WWE's business practice "plain fucking greedy" as they are a billion-dollar company but still undercutting talent. You can find his full comments by clicking here.

If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.

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