Speaking at an event in New York recently, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon talked about WWE’s commitment to including LGBT characters and storylines into its programming in the future. In her statements, Stephanie certainly seems to say the right things, but is it real, or just a PR move?
“We will integrate LGBT characters into our programming … and I do think there will be an opportunity to integrate some of those storylines in the near future.”
WWE has a checkered history with this sort of thing in the past. While the organization has been lauded for its inclusiveness when it comes to things like Pat Patterson, a top official in the company whose homosexuality was pretty much an open secret for years before he officially came out on a reality show on the WWE Network, or Darren Young, the first openly active gay wrestler in the company who often wears pro-LGBT advocacy gear when he wrestles, they’re also the company that has had its stars make more than their share of homophobic remarks during promos as a way to insult their opponents, has a long history of “flamboyant” characters that were implied to be homosexual (and often, heels), and at one point promoted the concept of “Hot Lesbian Action” as a blatant ratings ploy.
“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 word [and] why those words matters,” she explained. “I think that with their guidance and support, we will be able to portray that [LGBT storyline] appropriately.”
This week on Raw, Big Cass accused Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens of sitting in bathtubs and bathing together as an insult. We’re not going to say WWE isn’t going to try to live up to these statements, we’re just going to assume that maybe the policy goes into effect next week.