During last night’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver devoted most of the episode to a deep dive on how terribly the wrestlers who work for WWE are treated by the company, and CEO Vince McMahon, when out of the ring. Despite signing exclusive contracts with WWE, wrestlers are treated as independent contractors, which means they’re exempt from a bunch of important things such as health insurance, paid leave, and having basic downtime from doing something that wrecks their bodies while they’re on the clock. The long-term effects of this are so bad that the rate of early deaths among WWE wrestlers is notably higher than that of NFL players, and WWE fans are the ones to thank for offering money to a range of crowdfunding campaigns to pay for wrestlers’ surgeries and even funerals.
With WrestleMania coming up next weekend, Oliver figured it’s the perfect time to call on those fans to do what they do best — support wrestlers when McMahon won’t, and loudly boo at anything WWE-related that they hate until it goes away — when it comes to wrestlers getting the benefits and care they desperately need by their employer. “The event is live, the crowd is miked, they won’t be able to cut the chant out. I’m not saying that fans should do that, or make signs, or make lots of signs, I’m just saying I really hope they make their voices heard on this,” Oliver said. After calling McMahon “Business Hulk” who “is a billionaire on the broken backs of his non-employees,” Oliver argues that “the very least he can do is show the same dedication to wrestlers that they have shown to his company.”
Do your thing, WWE fans.