World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is facing another lawsuit, this time from former writer Britney Abrahams, alleging a culture of discrimination and racial insensitivity. This has brought to light several insensitive storylines the company had considered for wrestlers, such as blaming an elementary school-aged Mansoor for 9/11.
Former writer Dave Schilling discussed one storyline that the writing staff toyed with involving Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. The angle was a lover's storyline, with Deville, who is gay in real life, and Rose embracing and kissing in the middle of the ring at WrestleMania 35.
While this storyline would have represented the LGBTQ+ community, Schilling expressed concern that it would be poorly portrayed, with Asuka being booed by fans in the middle of the ring. To ensure that the storyline would be palatable and sensitive to the queer community, WWE consulted with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Stephanie McMahon spoke to them about making it a good angle. However, the storyline was eventually abandoned because it could have turned out poorly, even though the best intentions were there.
Former WWE Writer Criticizes Abandoned LGBTQ+ Angle.
In a recent interview, former writer Schilling said, "It could have turned out poorly even though the best intentions were there, and they wanted to make a good storyline, and Sonya and Mandy were involved and excited about doing it.
You have to do it right, and that would have been the wrong way to do it because you're beating a babyface who people love at WrestleMania when there are so many complaints about how Asuka is losing." Meanwhile, WWE wrestler Tiffany Stratton has received praise for her performances and has been compared to former wrestlers Trish Stratus and Mandy Rose.
Stratton said that the comparisons are a compliment, stating, "Mandy Rose is beautiful, and she was great and elevated herself when she came down to NXT. That, right there, is one of the biggest compliments I think I could ever receive.
Trish Stratus was the one who put women's wrestling on the board. That's a huge compliment. I always love to hear that." As the WWE continues to face lawsuits and controversies, the company must look hard at its culture and storylines to ensure that it is not promoting discrimination and insensitivity towards various communities.
While it is essential to push the boundaries in storytelling, it is equally important to do so in a way that is respectful and inclusive of all.