Stephanie McMahon believes that to make a change, you have to be present.
WWE has a long history of touting its success when it comes to breakthrough moments. In more recent times, the company has promoted the fact that they have boosted the women's division by putting on matches in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.
Speaking on Variety's Strictly Business podcast, Stephanie McMahon was asked about WWE's dealings with Saudi Arabia and why the company continues the partnership despite Saudi views and restrictions.
"WWE takes the approach that we want to be part of the change and, not judging any brands or decisions other companies make, they have to do what it right for them, but for us, you have to be there to be part of the change. For example, in Abu Dhabi, it took us six years to be able to have our women perform. If we would have pulled out, we would have never had that opportunity. Sometimes it takes persistence and tough decisions. That was a tough decision. We decided ultimately that we wanted to be there to help the change and we were able to do that. That's a remarkable part. It's amazing what you can do when people come together for the right reasons," she said.
When asked if she was surprised at how WWE is embraced across different regions in the world, Stephanie replied, "I was surprised at how many families were in the stadium in Saudi. I don't know why, my perspective was that it would be a predominantly male audience...I guess I do know why I would have thought that [laughs]. The surprise was that it was families and kids and WWE merchandise and it's exactly what WWE is all over the world. We are a family-friendly brand and we bring people and communities together. It shouldn't surprise me that our audience, even though skin tone might be different and people look different all over the world, it's all the same. It's the same people, families coming to enjoy the product."
WWE signed a ten-year partnership in 2018 with Saudi General Sports Authority. Due to the pandemic, WWE hasn't been back to Saudi Arabia since February 2020.
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