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.