If you watched John Oliver talking about wrestling on Last Week Tonight last night, it wasn’t hard to guess that WWE would not be pleased with anything he said. He called out the company, and Vince McMahon in particular, for making full-time wrestlers work as independent contractors, not giving them healthcare coverage, and not seeming to care much about their physical wellbeing in general, among other criticisms. Now WWE has fired back, with a statement they sent to ProWrestlingSheet. Here is that statement:
John Oliver is clearly a clever and humorous entertainer, however the subject matter covered in his WWE segment is no laughing matter. Prior to airing, WWE responded to his producers refuting every point in his one-sided presentation. John Oliver simply ignored the facts.
The health and wellness of our performers is the single most important aspect of our business, and we have a comprehensive, longstanding Talent Wellness program.
We invite John Oliver to attend WrestleMania this Sunday to learn more about our company.
It seems highly unlikely that Oliver will make a glad-handing appearance at Mania after that segment, and equally unlikely that WWE would offer him any actual insight into how their business works or how they treat their wrestlers if he did. You’ll also notice that despite WWE saying that Oliver “ignored the facts,” they don’t claim that their full-time wrestlers aren’t treated as independent contractors (because they are) or that they’re given health insurance (because they’re not). Sorry, but a “Talent Wellness program” is not the same thing as comprehensive healthcare. So it seems like WWE may be ignoring some facts here themselves.