In a letter sent out to the roster this week, the chairman revealed that the talent is prohibited from engaging with “outside third parties.” This presumably includes platforms such as Twitch, YouTube and Cameo.
McMahon’s reason for the new rules is due to him wanting to protect the company brand as it enters a new era. The report stated that he sent out a letter informing the talent that they have 30 days to part ways with these platforms before any action is taken.
“Some of you are engaged with outside third parties using your name and likeness in ways that are detrimental to our company. It is imperative that these activities be terminated within the next 30 days (by Friday October 2). Continued violations will result in fines, suspension, or termination at WWE’s discretion.”
As the report highlighted, WWE superstars are technically independent contractors. That means McMahon might not be able to legally stop them from continuing to engage with the services. However, performers refusing to oblige could still lose their good standing with the promotion and maybe even get released.
WWE also reportedly owns the rights to performers’ character personas and their real names, which suggests they might not be able to use them in their outside ventures. If they’re using their names on their profiles for these platforms, it could potentially create legal nightmares for them.
The decision is bound to upset some superstars who use services like Twitch and YouTube. Some of the talents have been able to monetize their channels and create prosperous businesses as a result. Xavier Woods runs a successful gaming channel, and AJ Styles uses his Twitch to interact with fans.
As The Inquisitr previously documented, Styles has used the platform to discuss behind-the-scenes anecdotes. He recently opened up about his dislike of Paul Heyman there, though he’s since revealed that their beef is no longer an issue.
However, these could be the types of incidents that the chairman wants to avoid in order to avoid negative publicity. The email stated that he wants his stars to make the brand look good, and that probably means not criticizing co-workers.
Several performers have also been using Cameo to send paid-for messages to their fans. Roman Reigns used it to make some extra income during his recent hiatus. He was making up to $1,000 per day just by giving shoutouts to his supporters.