WWE has taken a considerable amount of heat regarding their relationship with Saudi Arabia after the alleged murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. And now HBO's John Oliver has placed the wrestling conglomerate in his crosshairs.
During the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver blasted WWE for their ongoing partnership with the Saudis despite heavy scrutiny and other entities ending affiliation with the government. Oliver went on to accuse WWE of perpetuating propaganda on the Saudi government's behalf.
Here's the clip:
Here are the sections about WWE from the feature story about Saudi Arabia on the new “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” that premiered earlier tonight on HBO. pic.twitter.com/NNOVgzVftW— David Bixenspan (@davidbix) October 15, 2018
Oliver is just the latest person with a big platform to target WWE as U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut admonished WWE over the weekend.
"All major private interests should review and relook their relationship with the Saudi Kingdom in light of its continuing pattern of abuse of civil rights and civil liberties, contempt for the rule of law, and bombing in Yemen using the United States military equipment and possible intelligence," Blumenthal said in speaking to WCBS News Radio. "I would hope that WWE will recognize on its own a conscience and conviction if there is proof that Saudi officials approved and ordered this kind of killing, and I would lean first on the United States government to do its duty so that it can lead private interests like WWE, and the first place to look is to the United States of America."
Senator Blumenthal was only the latest elected official to question WWE's stance as three other Congressmen spoke out against the issue recently:
"I'd hope that they would be rethinking their relationship with the kingdom, especially with respect to events coming up in the next weeks like [WWE Crown Jewel]," Senator Murphy (D-CT) said.
"There should be a pause," Senator Graham (R-SC) said when asked about WWE working with the kingdom.
"Private enterprise is private enterprise, different than a governmental entity. But because [Linda McMahon] is part of the president's cabinet, it falls into the grey area where the administration really should give it some thought and maybe even prevail upon them not doing it," Senator Menendez (D-NJ) said.
The situation is bound to garner more controversy as WWE is currently booked to run Crown Jewel on November 2. This will be WWE's second major event in Saudi Arabia this year and according to PWInsider, WWE is pressing on with plans to hold their Crown Jewel show. WWE previously agreed to a 10 year deal with Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to promote events in the country, the first being Greatest Royal Rumble earlier this year. The project is part of the country's Vision 2030 plan.