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GLAAD Partners with WWE to Tackle Homophobic Bullying

GLAAD Partners with WWE to Tackle Homophobic Bullying

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) will be working with writers and editors at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to create and promote an anti-bullying message aimed at WWE’s core audience of adolescent males.

This came about after GLAAD raised concerns on behalf of the LGBT community concerning wrestler John Cena’s (always in-character) homophobic taunts made across a couple of matches toward the end of February. These taunts included references to the film Brokeback Mountain, to insinuating an opponent was a “fairy,” and that an opponent needed to be taught how to be a man.

Given that WWE had, at the time, recently started promoting itself as PG-rated entertainment, and that a large part of its fan-base is adolescent males, the concern was that this kind of example could lead impressionable viewers to think it is acceptable to bully others on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation.

Seeing this as “scripted homophobic bullying” GLAAD reached out to WWE Incorporated who, they say, responded “swiftly and positively” to their concerns.

More from GLAAD’s blog:

GLAAD contacted WWE executives and explained the problem after receiving our first reports. They then spoke to John Cena and the show’s writers.  We have been assured that not only will such incidents not happen again, WWE intends to reach out to their adolescent audience, with messages aimed making it clear that bullying someone with homophobic taunts or for their perceived sexual orientation is wrong. WWE released the following apology statement to that effect:

“WWE takes this issue very seriously, and has already spoken with our talent about these incidents. We are taking steps and working with GLAAD  to ensure that our fans know that WWE is against bullying or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We strongly value our fans in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and apologize to them for these incidents.”

We are very much looking forward to developing our relationship with WWE, and we thank them both for hearing our message loud and clear, and for planning to send an anti-bullying message of their own.

The hope here is that adolescent males will no longer be encouraged to think it is acceptable to bully a person based on their sexual orientation, or get the message that there is something unmanly or negative about being gay.

This doesn’t require explicit advocacy either, simply a commitment to refraining from language that may lead to the bullying of others on the basis of sexual orientation.

That WWE has actually chosen to go further than this and create an inclusive anti-bullying message is a commendable and entirely worthwhile step.

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39 comments

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8:47PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Go to YouTube and watch "The Ally Effect". This young coach is amazing and will help make the world a better place for all gays.

2:13PM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

I don't like the WWE but this is surprisingly good news from them.

9:30PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

ALEX....You bet your ass I will ALWAYS discriminate against the un-christ like loser christian religion, the biggest hate cult in this country. If the things I mentioned are so irrelevant why do jesus fan club members constantly throw these "pick and choose" lines at gays in defense of their sick hatred? And these lines in question are from the section of the bible known as the purity code. Get YOUR facts straight asshole.

9:08AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

I've never been a fan of WWE, but I must say I am pleasantly surprised by, and have the utmost respect for, their support in this very serious matter. Thank you for doing the right thing, WWE.

4:52AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

I'm actually impressed. *applauds WWE*

9:50PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

kenny s. is a moron. "I'm kenny s. and i think its wrong to hate and discriminate against people. Unless they are Christians then we should hate and discriminate against them". Hey idior all the things you mentioned come from the law of Moses which is utterly irrelevant to the Christian faith. And by the way homosexual Christians can and do exist. Some are even ordained ministers.

4:10PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

"Professional" wrestling, homophobia; LOL, it reminds me so much of "Bruno"!

Maybe other pro-athlete orgs- like NFL, NBA- can encourage tolerance of orientations as well.

1:16PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Good to hear.

11:51AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

I for one will not encourage my son to watch this sport, the pictures I have seen promoting the WWE has shown some rather homosexual looking fellows. I would want to make sure that he can hear what regular men feel about the same-sexual organ sex partners. Because it is normal for men to speak out against this. They have to protect our society from slipping into a sex-crazed addiction that is poisoning them. As a women I feel that even if a man only "tried-out" the man-on-man sex lifestyle, i would not consider him a viable male for mating or marriage.
These poor youngsters need to hear how disgusting their choices are and to speak out is NOT bullying, beating up people IS. Speaking out is the only weapon they have to combat this desease that is looming in our society.

8:45AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

thanks a lot:)

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