WWE Chief Branding Officer, Stephanie McMahon took part in a conference call with 'Ad Age', earlier today and discussed a myriad of topics including COVID-19 and WWE's attempts to be as racially inclusive as possible.
Here are some of the most notable quotes from WWE's CBO:
- How Does WWE Handle Positive COVID-19 Tests?
“It’s all optional, it’s volunteer based, it’s up to them if they want to participate, we did have talent and crew members opt out, and we do support that” We do testing before all programming, it is more advanced testing, it isn’t the rapid test, that does have false positives and negative ,we want the best testing positive, we also have pandemic level cleaning at the PC every night, including fogging and special lighting, we have an application of a product from a company called Allied Sciences that creates a barrier. If you are negative for the virus, you still need a temperature check and fill out a form If you have been in-contact with someone with symptoms, you cannot enter the facility. Its as thorough as it can possibly can be."
- What's It Like Being Based In Orlando, Florida, Where Cases Are Spiking?
"We are based in Orlando. Is it the right decision. We didn’t choose Orlando hoping it would be the best location. I do think that we’ve the best we possibly can, the testing and protocol prove it works, yes we have had some positives, the majority of performers and crew are healthy. We want to be smart and sensitive, without them we don’t have show. We also want to make sure we entertain our fans all over the world."
- How Has WWE Changed, Production-wise Due To COVID-19?
"We had a few key learnings with camera angles. Also with announcers. We have experimented with forms of augmented reality. The big 'fans' doesn’t look the best, we have a virtual ceiling. We have sweated the audio with developmental stars with masks and social distancing."
- How Does WWE Address Diversity & Inclusion?
"WWE actually over indexes with out African American audience. 21% of audience is African American, so we’ve utilized out platforms to amplify the messages of inclusion and standing against racism and racial injustice, we’ve amplified our talents voices, any number of talent who are doing a number of initiatives
40% of champions are African American, across all three brands. Representation is critical, also for women, we’ve have a whole women’s evolution, in our company, which had changed the way our company shows female performers.
WWE corporately has unconscious bias training, we have infinity groups, that’s not enough, we do work with a diversity and inclusion recruiting agency. We’re taking a hard look and a different look from every level. We are absolutely taking this very seriously, as we should as everyone should.
You need to have it at level, employees, diversity is real, we need those voices heard and matter. All of these different experiences will bring us together to have the best possible company and society."
- How Can Real World Events Change On-Screen Stories & Characters?
"We are looking at everything, from a character perspective from a storyline perspective, from an employee perspective, We really are because representation matters. When we’re crafting characters in WWE, hey you’re going to be this character and that’s it. Our superstars have the opportunity to give the feedback, they help us craft the character. We have had instances where we had African American talent say this doesn’t feel good to me, this was pre-George Floyd. Those conversations happen. You can’t be afraid to have those conversations. You have to be willing to admit you might not know something."
Credit to HeelByNature.com for the quotes!
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