Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bullying Vickie Guerrero

If you have paid attention to WWE programming you will notice they have been part of the Be a STAR Alliance anti-bullying campaign.  Many members of the IWC including The Wrestling Blog's TH have pointed out how hypocritical that is.  Why is it hypocritical?  While taking part in an anti-bullying campaign, face color commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler has routinely made jokes about Vicki Guerrero's weight.  This is even more ridiculous in light of Vicki's weight loss.  Finally somebody a bit closer to the issue has raised the same objection as highlighted in the LoP story:
Lisa Wright, who is the program director of the national non-profit organization Council for Unity, wrote a letter to the Be A Star Alliance questioning their affiliation with WWE after receiving an e-mail concerning the "fat jokes" being directed towards performer Vickie Guerrero on television. She asks how the anti-bullying organization's partnership with WWE fits their mission to show tolerance and respect since professional wrestling consists of name calling and threats culminating in violence.

Her statement reads: "I recently received an e-mail regarding your alliance with the WWE. The e-mail pointed out the "fat jokes" about Vickie Guerrero. Wrestling as I perceive it consists of name calling and threats culminating in violence to settle conflicts. How does this fit with your mission to `Show Tolerance and Respect?' Are you saying this behavior is alright for entertainment value? As an employee of a member organization listed on your website, your questionable judgment reflects poorly, not only on you, but on all the organizations listed there.
I would hazard a guess that many of us were happy to see someone other than CM Punk and certain wrestling bloggers point out the hypocrisy of WWE's actions in light of this campaign.  Sadly, Ms. Wright has apparently been convinced that there is nothing wrong with this after all.  Again according to a LoP story:

Wright wrote, "After careful consideration and research on my part, plus some intelligent feedback from some of the loyal fans of WWE, I realize that perhaps I reacted too harshly and without enough information. I have been reminded that the important issue is the prevention of bullying and the protection and support of those that have been victimized by it. Ultimately, my own actions, intended or no, have had a negative impact.

She continues, "I hereby offer an apology to the Be a STAR foundation and the WWE. I also wish to rescind my request that my organization be removed from the Be a STAR Alliance website. There are often many ways to reach a goal; the important thing is that we support each other on our journey."

There are some interesting things going on with this retraction/apology. One of which is that Ms. Wright claims her letter was never meant for public consumption. I do not know if that is a face-saving move on her part or what. I am very curious as to what kind of feedback she might have received that convinced her that Vicki Guerrero fat jokes should be A-OK for a company involved in an anti-bullying initiative.

The only thing Ms. Wright should apologize for is for apologizing. She was 100% in the right with her initial complaint. I would love to be privy to the private discussions surrounding this apology.

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