The fallout from Monday Night RAW’s controversial WWE Divas contract signing angle continues. After several days of criticism, the WWE has responded to critics with a statement accepting some, but not all responsibility for the content.
The WWE was under fire immediately after the angle on RAW between Charlotte and Paige where Paige called Charlotte’s late brother Reid, “weak.” Arguably worse than the angle itself, the company faced even more criticism when it was revealed that nobody from the Flair family was given notice ahead of time of the angle.
Mike Johnson over at PWInsider.com has the latest, including a response WWE sent to PWInsider.com when contacted by the website regarding the nature of the storyline.
“Subject matter this personal is only approved as a result of the strong advocacy of the talent themselves. Notwithstanding that, WWE is ultimately responsible for what airs in its programming.”
In other words, the WWE is accepting some responsibility as the final decision maker but the company is making it clear that the angle came from Charlotte. Nice of them to take “some” responsibility.
Mike has a great article regarding the origins of the angle on the website. I don’t want to give away too much of the details but Mike suggests that the angle may have come from a comment Charlotte made to someone in creative at some point about her career being dedicated to her brother. Not a real big shocker as she has mentioned that in several interviews already. Mike says the angle was edited throughout the day with Vince McMahon making the final call. According to Mike, some of the senior members of the creative team tried to shoot it down but Vince ultimately put it through.
All that said, I highly doubt that Charlotte approached the writing team and suggested any kind of verbiage about her brother being “weak.” Mike does report that Charlotte was able to give feedback on the angle and was not “ambushed” with the angle, which some including her father intimated on his podcast.
What is interesting is that the company did not address Ric Flair’s comments about not being given notice ahead of time about the angle nor was he contacted after. Additionally, the statement never apologizes to the family and friends of Reid. The story is fascinating in that Triple H, Vince McMahon, not even Charlotte contacted anyone in the family to prepare them for the angle. Whether they were afraid family members would shoot it down or not is irrelevant. It’s classless and inexcusable in my book.
The statement is probably one of the worst the WWE has ever put out to do damage control since the company went corporate. The statement quite ironically is just as insensitive in some ways as their actions Monday night. Not surprising, but a little disappointing to say the least.