Be a Star Targeted for Affiliation with WWE Following Vickie Guerrero ‘Fat Jokes’

Well, it’s about time someone poked holes in WWE’s affiliation with the ‘Be a Star’ anti-bullying campaign.

That someone is Lisa Wright from the Council for Unity, who wrote a letter — obtained by the Wrestling Observer — to Be a Star following ‘fat jokes’, construed as bullying, being made about Vickie Guerrero on air.

The letter states:

“I recently received an e-mail regarding your alliance with the WWE. The e-mail pointed out the “fat jokes” about Vickie Guerrero. Wrestling as I perceive it consists of name calling and threats culminating in violence to settle conflicts. How does this fit with your mission to `Show Tolerance and Respect?’ Are you saying this behavior is alright for entertainment value? As an employee of a member organization listed on your website, your questionable judgment reflects poorly, not only on you, but on all the organizations listed there.”

As an organization whose mission is to prevent violence and bullying, we must be careful who we partner with and what messages that partnership sends. As we look for funding, ways to market our mission, and new partnerships, we must remain aware of the cultural forces that impact those that we serve. Furthermore, we must be sensitive not to promote the very negative behaviors that we have spent our professional lives trying to prevent. I fail to see how an alliance with the WWE will do that. We must be aware that in our business, as in life, actions speak louder than words. The WWE may, in principal, be against bullying and the violence that so often accompanies it, however, the very nature of the business is not conducive to a culture of inclusion and peace that we here at the Council for Unity seek to create. To that end, we respectfully request the removal or our organization from your web site.”

Thoughts: While I appreciate the sentiment and I’m sure the Superstars and Divas really do want to promote anti-bullying, taking the message seriously, the company and many within it are stuck in the eighth grade. Just this past week there was plenty of irony when JR’s hat was taken from him on Raw and stomped on, probably a rib by Vince, and the ‘Be a Star’ video was shown directly following it. What the F?

As for Vickie, she’s borne the brunt of many a ‘fat joke’, sadly. I still don’t agree with WWE’s scripted bullying of Mickie James either. I’m glad someone in a position to do so is scrutinizing this affiliation, and perhaps they’ll turn their attention to WWE directly.

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  • ilovelita

    I don’t get how they can be apart of BeAStar when Michael Cole calls Kelly Kelly “photoshopped” and then Natalya “chunky”. Also King and Cole made fun of JR and Vickie Guerreo about her wieght even though she’s clearly not fat. It is just getting very old with it. It’s not helping WWE and I won’t be surprised if BeAStar separates itself from the WWE.

  • Raekon

    The main problem of the WWE and its creatives is that they are stuck themselves in a PG environment, in which everything needs to be children friendly.

    Through this they have big handling problems on how to sell a heel without adding fat jokes, bullying and other.

    On the other hand then, they place their “Bullies” like the bellas and alicia in anti-bullying videos promoting exactly the opposite.

    Of course I understand its only entertainment and they don’t mean it within the show, however, for companies like this that are taking things more seriously and obviously don’t care much about entertainment, it comes over differently.

    Most of all it still comes over confusing and contradicting to the kids that actually watch the video “Be a Star, don’t bully” only to watch their favorite so called stars doing exactly the opposite in the show.

    We see every Diva on the one side pulling on their tops and skirts so they won’t show too much skin or their “puppies” in front of the children and the next we see then is the Divas champion rubbing her butt in the face of a other Diva.

    Is that fitting?

    Then they speak about tolerance on the one hand but asking the Divas to undergo surgery to get bigger breasts(several Divas), lose weight(Kharma) or tone down muscles(Kaitlyn, Jamie and Aksana).

    Is that tolerance?

    We also never get to see women in any shape and form hired but rather only the ones that fit their “form”(Kharma was a big exception because of her status as a wrestler).

    Where is the equality or tolerance on this one?

    I guess this type of tolerance is superstars exclusive only right?

  • Lily

    I can’t stand any of the commentators on RAW except for Booker T and Jim Ross.

    Even though the ‘Piggie James’ storyline was way too much, it was the best Diva storyline since Trish/Mickie.

  • V1AHHHH

    Vickie has lost what? 50lbs? That is an amzing effort and she looks amazingly better than she did over a year ago.

    As someone who has lost 20kg (That’s 44lbs), what WWE in a way is telling me, despite how much weight you lose… Once fat, always fat.

  • ricky_says_hi

    if it stops Jerry Lawler from cracking all those crude comments then I’m all for it. Vickie is roughly the same body size as Mickie was. King had a nerve to say the Bellas calling Kharma fat was disgusting and then he does the same to a healthy looking woman, and to her face

    The main problem with the anti-bullying campaign is that they have heels in the video. they should only have faces doing it because that would make a bit more sense

    • AdrianRay

      I know. Who was the genius that said the Bella’s should be involved? Of course adults understand the difference between the WWE and reality, but not all children do. Actually, majority of children will just be confused. I swear it’s the blind leading the blind.

  • AdrianRay

    Why the hell would they even become a part of BeAStar in the first place. How the FUCK can a wrestling company be against bullying when it is shown on their episodes weekly?! Common sense dumb asses. :) Please WWE creative and management, grow the other half of your poorly developed brains. They went about this ALL WRONG. That is all.

    • Marlon Eric

      This.

    • Future-Knockout/Diva

      I Agree 100% With What You Just Said.

  • DarkMaverick87

    This is getting ridiculous. People have way too much time on their hands. WWE is entertainment. Not reality. It’s more important that families and teachers have conversations at the dinner table and in class about why such behavior is wrong and inappropriate, rather than censor children from it. They’re going to run into it anyway on the streets and elsewhere, whether it exists in the WWE or not. WWE is doing the right thing by promoting this campain backstage and outside of the WWE soap opera. The fact that the company is being criticized is ridiculous. Sure, the storylines involving Mickie James and Lay-Cool, Vickie’s weight, JR and his hat suck, but this is a wrestling business. You’re creating heels and faces.

    When you censor everything, you lose valuable lessons about what is right and what is wrong. When you bloviate, complain, make snap judgments, and formulate your opinion without considering all angles, you’re teaching your children to do the same. It’s sickening. Quite frankly, that’s where bullying comes from. Ignorance. Yes, let’s censor everything and create more ignorance instead of doing our jobs by parenting and guiding. Brilliant.

    • Harley

      I see where you are coming from. But my biggest concern about the WWE, as far as women are concerned, is the fact that it relies too much on chauvinistic stereotypes, two dimensional characterizations and age old pre-women’s suffrage views to tell stories. That, in a sense, in censorship right there.

      Of course, I understand that this is entertainment. The problem is, it is watched by a lot of people who get more than just entertainment. It influences mindsets. No matter how you spin it, entertainment is part of culture and culture is by far the greatest teacher a child can have–not the parents (unless they decide to lock the child in the house forever.)

      And the WWE, which has an effect over the mindset of other people, has yet to really showcase a true alternative to its vision of women–someone who is not petty, overtly sensitive or low on self-esteem. They’ve had some of those women going but they always end up ruining it in the end.

      Examples: Beth Phoenix – She is supposedly the Glamazon. She was built as someone who relies on her hard earned strength, and someone who takes great pride in being a kind of woman who doesn’t need her sexuality to make it anywhere. The WWE ruined that by making her use her lips to eliminate Khali when she could’ve been given a different superstar to eliminate (if they’re worried about discrediting Khali’s strength) or make her use some other method which relies on her skill and not her “feminine wiles.”

      Another one is how they built Gail Kim as someone who longs for the approval of a man–her story line with Alicia and Zack Ryder. Here we have a skilled female wrestler who can out wrestle some of the men in the roster. Yet she was given a “happy ending” in that story line when after Evan Bourne beats Zack, he turns to Gail and offers his elbow for her to cling on.

      My favorite is how they treated Lita. This is the woman built as the supposed “anti-Diva.” She was supposedly fearless–attacking the likes of Edge, Christian, the Dudley’s, and Dean EFFIN Malenko. She was supposedly “skilled” and “hardcore,” capable of doing hurricanranas, moonsaults and all that jazz. But when she became a heel, the writers turned her into a wuss. And when she faced a John Cena, with his hand tied behind his back, she attacks with him with a couple of wimpy slaps before getting FU’d for the pin.

      Furthermore, why is it that every woman who has been built to express hatred over posing for playboy and participating in bra and panties matches were built as heels? Because all “good” women should be willing to show skin even if they would rather be known for their skills or their brains?

      The WWE gives women a bad name. And that’s ironic considering the fact that they build their women as smart, sexy and powerful. The writers of these company seem to know very little about women. And a lot of kids see this.

      THAT, in my opinion, is the kind of “censorship” that the WWE espouses against women. The company, supposedly the best wrestling company in the world, shows women as inferior, simple-minded, insecure and shallow creatures. That alone should be a good reason as to why Be A Star’s should rethink its alliance with the WWE.

      • squared.circle

        Very insightful & eloquently put. Thank you!

      • Raekon

        Thank you SO much! :)

      • art

        @Harley 110% right…

  • Future-Knockout/Diva

    I Think The Whole Be A Star Thing Is A Load Of Crap, Its Just Attracting Publicity And They Certainly Do Not Show What Their Campaien Is About When It Comes It Storylines Like Vickie Being Called Fat, Mickie Being Called Fat, JRs Hat Getting Stomped On, The Bellas Calling Everyone They Face A Loser, And I’m Thinking Why Would Anyone Believe That The WWE Will Stop Bullying When Its Clearly Show On TV, When Kids See What The Stars Are Doing On TV They Will Be Confused, And I Am Too, So Bottom Line Is That I’m Not Buying Into This Whole Be A Star Crap.

  • divafandom

    Wow. I mean its mean to call someone fat but this is television. If stuff like this is taking off the air and the heels can’t bully the faces then everyone would be neutral and boring. I get it kids are watching but the entertainment value will be decreased because all these affiliations they have. This is wrestling not school. This is the usa network not disney channel. And if it becomes like the disney channel the whole teen and older demographic will decline leaving less viewers. They have to understand its just television and just for laughs and entertainment. And vickies so fierce now it doesn’t matter lol she knows she’s a cougar ;)

  • squared.circle

    The point is that WWE, by affiliating itself with these organizations & charities, is creating an image that is essentially false and untrue. Their intent is noble, it really is. But to advocate against bullying while airing segments of petty fat-shaming, misogyny (as expected), homophobia, and just about every ism you can think of is soo counterproductive and laughable. WWE is NOT family friendly. They should not pretend to be. As a sports entertainment (I ain’t talking about this PG shit) corporation, WWE should market itself as such, and unabashedly at that. Otherwise, WWE just ends up looking stupid with respect to their business relations. It’s about time someone said something.

    • squared.circle

      ^excuse my inconsistent use of pronouns

  • iLUVwrestlingValets

    Like WWE doesnt make any sense with this campaign, it also is a big contridiction to have the bellas in that commercial, Bullying has always been apart of this business, i can understand that they promote anti-bullying because children are impressionable and don’t know any better but at the same time its like the E tries to deny everything they do wrong instead of just owning up to it.

  • http://twitter.com/BroskiRomano Wesley Romano

    Cole calling Kelly photoshopped idk if thats bullying but Mickie James, calling Maria skrawny and AJ Lee tiny welli get it since its suppose to put over LayCool and Rosa or when Maryse used to call Cherry ugly like a dog lol

    But i totally dislike when pple call Vickie fat or stomping of JRs har, and specially dislike Randy Orton

    WWE is so full of shit most of the time
    I do respect that they do charity work thats cool of the wrestlers but the internal WWE is what im against

  • http://twitter.com/#!/madslam200959 madslam2009

    I know wrestling is a storyline and the “bullying” from all the heels is what they are supposed to do, but WWE is SO hypocricital in this anti-bullying camapgin. There is NO storyline purpose for the fat jokes on Vickie, especially considering all the weight she’s lost and the physical shape shes getting in. There is NO reason to be saying that Kelly Kelly is air brushed and not that prety months after that promo. There was NO reason to be calling your tag team champions bland and generic on Raw or telling Jack Swagger to “stick with the Ankle Lock because he cant do his Gutwrentch Powerbomb right”. Or calling Natalya husky all those months ago. AND ESPECIALLY all that bullying to JR. JR is a hall of famer and an expirenced commentator. I’ve never seen any sport treat a man with that much crediblity and respect with such disrespectful treatment. Vince needs to get over himself and stop speaking for his company and have himself “show tolerance and respect”.

  • charmed_diva

    Wow…really people? Come on! No one was throwing a hissy fit while these things were being thrown out on television. It’s sad that in this day, and age all it takes is some organization to stir up some trouble to censor our shows. If they are successful in telling WWE what to say then what next? They are going to tell us what we can say on the street, or homes. Seriously, these people probably watched one episode of Raw, and decided to nit pick at something that has been going on forever. Just like when they decided to dog Linda for “Trish’s bark like a dog segment” that aired a long time ago. I’m not saying it’s right, but obviously the performers don’t have a problem with it, neither did Mickie, she said it herself. It was to create a fake storyline. If the people that it;s happening to don’t have a problem with it, and allow it to happen then neither should anyone else.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/madslam200959 madslam2009

      Theres no point to it. If it leads to something storyline wise (which is what both of the storylines mentioned above actually did) to be mentioned if it’s rude. Vickie probably says she wasn’t but maybe she is. Just like when King made fun of Molly Holly and she signed off on it but was leginmanetly had her feelings hurt. If theres no purpose, don’t do it. Piggie James was the real debut of LayCool and led to a title change people cared about so that had a purpose. Calling Kelly air brushed and making a mockery of the Hall of Famer commentator has no point. And if there isn’t a real point, why do it?

    • Raekon

      To be honest, WWE should had never gone PG.
      No matter how noble they mean it, such promotions doesn’t fit to their show.

      There is a good reason why TNA doesnt do it and they are successfull anyway.

      WWE tries to be a role model on the one side but destroys the whole purpose itself on the other.

      Of course its a show and its storylines but as a mentioned above already, it doesn’t give the right picture to young girls over women, nor does it really give the right picture to young boys.

      • davepower

        “To be honest, WWE should had never gone PG.”

        Wut?

        When do you think WWE went PG?

  • Al

    All those talking about censorship are completely missing the point. WWE can not put on the type of programming that they do on weekly bases and preach about how bullying is wrong. Bullying happens on their programming every week. Even hateful bullying that adds nothing to the program is present, and the company does nothing to change it. WWE being affiliated with Be a Star is like True Blood being affiliated with an abstinence group, or Jersey Shore being affiliated with a sobriety group. It makes no sense.

    If WWE wants to preach about how bullying is wrong, their programming needs to reflect this belief. It is possible to create villains that do not turn to bullying to show how cruel they are. Plenty or shows do that; however, that takes smart writing, which, sadly, isn’t prevalent in wrestling. If WWE wants bullying to be part of their programming because “that’s what heels do,” that’s fine, but they can’t be affiliated with an anti-bullying campaign at the same time.

  • shannymac

    Good!

  • http://artwillgohere.wordpress.com/ AmyR

    Ha! Its about time someone calls them on it. It seems like everyone sees the hypocrisy except the WWE.

  • vonVile

    Did anybody else find it hilarious that the WWE even was a part the Be A Star campaign when just a month before Edge retired he was the biggest bully ever in WWE storylines? Edge, as a face, was torturing Kane for over a month for kidnapping his father Paul Bearer and tricking Kane into thinking he was going to kill Bearer using a dummy until the last one where Kane didn’t believe it was Bearer, but it really was injuring Bearer.

    This whole thing is a joke!

  • unscripted & flawless

    This is why WWE is becoming to boring and lame now. This woman was fully right with everything she said, and to be honest I wish WWE would just stop trying to do these kinds of things because more and more criticism will be given and the lamer shows will get because who knows…Now they’ll probably start having heels not resort to weight/looks/sexuality. Wrestling isn’t good anymore and it’s because they cannot stick to being that: wrestling. Now they wanna be role models for anti-bullying. Wtf? Why can’t they endorse milk? -__-
    I had no problem with the Mickie SL because she’s not fat…it was just LayCool’s gimmick to be playground bullies. But then when WWE tries to go and get involved in things like this, as if their past storylines and history is just going to disappear, is what makes Mickie’s feud with LayCool seem “bad” because they’re contradicting themselves.

  • Jay.Fox

    Honestly I don’t even think that wrestling should even be affiliated with anti-bullying. Its a contradiction. Pro Wrestling is about trash talking and fighting. They just make themselves look like hypocrites. But the whole Vickie incidents i ddon’t agree. You should never make fun ofof a persons weight. Any gender.

  • mikeparis18

    Don’t forget the disgusting crap they did to Lita after her last match (even though that was before the whole be a star thing)

  • art

    Vickie being called fat was wrong it had nothing to do with storyline & was just said to disrespect her because she gets more heat then most of the guys who are meant to be heels..
    wwe & wrestling in general should never be pg it doesn’t fit the pg mold…

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOyzTv-g8FA Piggie James

    Bullying is always going to be a factor in wrestling storylines. To try and remove it would make most storylines redundant and impossible to do. Look no further than ‘Bully Ray’ for a gimmick that is just about being a bully. But no one has any issues for it. And for good reason, he’s a heel and that’s his gimmick.

    The problem with some of the storylines in WWE at the moment is that the faces seem to bully the heels. That’s where it comes across as the wrong thing to do, and against the principles of the ‘Be a Star’ campaign. There’s nothing wrong with the faces getting revenge provided it’s the ‘eye for an eye’ mentality, but if it gets to the point where the face is just being a bully themselves, then it defeats the purpose of the message that WWE should be sending to their younger audience, and that is that bullying is bad and only done by bad people.

    Vickie Guerrero is a heel and should be a bully. She should also be condemned for her actions by the commentators. But her weight/appearance have no factor in that, so shouldn’t be mentioned at all. Some of her treatment by the faces has also been very questionable, such as when Edge kicked her off Smackdown it felt a little over the top, because he was effectively bullying her. The faces need to stand up like sensible people who know how to not take things too far, otherwise even from a storyline point of view, you start sympathizing for the heels, and questioning the faces’ behaviour. However, that is not the case if you don’t know any better like the younger audience, and WWE is sending some real mixed messages with a lot of their storylines/commentary.

    I thought the ‘Piggie James’ storyline was within bounds, because while Mickie was victimized, she was the face, and she got her revenge and showed that the bullies don’t win if you stand up to them. However the angle finished with a sour note when Lay-Cool won back her title, though I believe this was due to Mickie’s staph infection. There was the segment where Mickie and the faces ‘caked’ Lay-Cool, but this was reasonable given they did exactly the same to her. She didn’t then go about the next few weeks bullying them.

    Point is, WWE can continue to have bullying in their storylines, and maintaining their affiliation with anti-bullying organizations, however not with the way they’re currently addressing the issue. The only reason I think that Be a Star is affiliating with WWE is for money and exposure, but they should really be pushing for some actual changes in storyline if they don’t want to come across as hypocrites.

  • Jcott3

    Where was all of this concern when they were destroying Molly Holly’s career with the “junk in your trunk” storyline? She had the entire company calling her “fat-ass”, not to mention the fans. And when she told management that the angle hurt her feelings, John Laurinaitis actually tried to convince her that being called fat was crowd heat.

    Molly’s career never recovered from that horrible storyline. More people remember that angle than her first reign as Women’s Champion.

    “Piggie” James was a different story. Mickie was portrayed as the victim and was allowed to have an “I’m fat – deal with it!” attitude, whereas Molly had to be embarrassed about lack of a supermodel figure. Add two of the most popular people in the company (Trish Stratus and Jerry Lawler) constantly making jokes about her (not to mention Jim Ross, Tazz, the Godfather and others), and she never had a chance.

    The worst part of that was that it was the brainchild of one Stephanie McMahon, the heir to the WWE throne. As someone who grew up in the business, she should have known better.