News broke yesterday that WWE communicated to talent this week that they will no longer be able to independently use outside third party platforms to promote themselves. The message was reportedly relayed to talent on Thursday, with a 30 day time period to comply. Talent who do not abide by the new policy will reportedly face fines, suspensions, or even firing. The story has received considerable attention in the media, with former 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang even commenting on the policy late Friday evening.
WWE sent ComicBook their official statement on this story Saturday afternoon. The original report (via Wrestling Inc.) on Friday alleged that WWE had told talent that they owned both their stage names and real names when it comes to endeavours with third parties. However, the statement issued to the media today specifically mentions only WWE stage names.
WWE's statement reads as follows:
"Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman. It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a companywide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved.”