Former WWE writer speaks out amid newly filed Britney Abrahams lawsuit

As WWE prepares to take on a lawsuit from former writer Britney Abrahams regarding toxic working conditions, racism, and wrongful termination, another former writer, Dave Schilling, decided to sit down with Jeremy Lambert & Joel Pearl for their In The Weeds show to discuss his own time in the trenches for WWE and provide his take on Abrahams’ lawsuit.

“My thoughts were probably similar to a lot of people who are people of color who work for WWE, which is, not terribly surprising that someone would be upset about things they experienced at the company. It’s not the best place to work if you’re a person of color, you’re a woman, you’re LGBTQ, ” Shilling said via Fightful. “It’s difficult because there are a lot of people there who are older, who are maybe not as sensitive to certain things, and at the end of the day, the person who makes the decisions is Vince McMahon. Even today, Vince has a lot of power and a lot of say so in what goes on the air, and Vince isn’t the world’s most sensitive person.

“It’s all about what Vince likes. A lot of these broad caricatures are things that Vince likes. I can’t speak to what happened after I left, but I’m sure he thought that Apollo Crews doing an accent was going to get over. You look at the history of WWE, and there are tons of examples of stereotypical characters. This is not a new thing or a new phenomenon.”

Unfortunately for everyone involved, the Apollo Crews as a Nigerian Prince angle really didn’t get over and is widely considered one of the more bizarre ideas of late-era Mr. McMahon. Had WWE’s creative department been a bit more representative of the people on the screen, and the audience the company is trying to engage, maybe that storyline would have died on the vine like the idea that an elementary school-aged Mansoor planned 9/11. Per Schilling, that probably isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Dave Schilling provides a grim update on what would have to change in WWE.

So if, by Schilling’s assertion, WWE is filled with older, out-of-touch individuals who think leaning into stereotypes is a way to get heat from an audience – even if we’re talking “4 for $1” levels of cheap heat – what would have to change to make the company a more inclusive, progressing place? In Schilling’s opinion, a lot.

“A lot of people have to retire. I don’t know if we need to continue to hear what Michael Hayes has to say about storylines. I think he can put together an amazing match, but do I need to hear Michael Hayes, or Vince McMahon, or Bruce Prichard tell people in their 30s, 20s, children, what is entertaining? This is no knock on them, they’ve all done amazing things in the wrestling business and given me decades of enjoyment. They were all very nice to me. There needs to be more youthful energy in wrestling.

“AEW has done a good job of presenting their characters in a way that is more appealing to younger audiences. WWE, in a lot of ways, Roman Reigns and the Bloodline are very modern characters and exciting and cool, and even though they are heels, they are thought of as cool. The people making the decisions are old, and at some point, those people need to move aside. Tony Khan, as a booker of AEW, is doing a good job, but he’s not surrounding himself with younger people. He’s not surrounding himself with a team of writers who can say, ‘this is cool, this is not cool.’ Not to say Tony doesn’t know what’s cool, he’s probably my age and as checked in as I can be in my mid-30s. We need to have that youthful energy. That’s what is so exciting about AEW and, on some levels, WWE, but there needs to be more. The more people of a certain age step aside, the better it will be for everyone, and there will be less of this kind of tension between the sensibilities of 2023 and the sensibilities of 1987. That’s the hardest part about working there. Those guys don’t get it sometimes, and you wish they did.”

To WWE’s credit, giving Paul “Triple H” Levesque the book has helped to modernize the promotion’s storytelling in a big way, and largely avoid many of the more socially questionable creative calls that Mr. McMahon wholeheartedly embraced over the past thirty or so years. If they continue to lean into Levesque’s instincts as a booker, WWE might not need a mass creative exodus to get where they need to be. Mr. McMahon staying in power, however, might complicate things quite a bit.

The post Former WWE writer speaks out amid newly filed Britney Abrahams lawsuit appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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