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Anonymous WWE employee requests Florida gov't shut down Performance Center TV tapings
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Anonymous WWE employee requests Florida gov’t shut down Performance Center TV tapings

Employee says they’re being ‘forced to work.’

A new hurdle has emerged in WWE’s marathon to keep TV tapings going until live shows return, in the form of a complaint issued to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners. The complaint, which was shared during the board’s meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, comes from an anonymous WWE employee under the name of “John” who requested not to have their identity revealed.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly wrestling podcast, PTW!

The alleged employee states that they’re being “forced to work” WWE TV tapings during the COVID-19 pandemic which prevents them from being able to practice social distancing, despite the governor’s stay-at-home orders, and that they’re unable to bring their concerns to higher ups within the company out of fear of getting fired. “John” is asking the Florida government to shut down WWE’s TV tapings on the closed set at WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, so that employees can avoid losing their jobs while practicing social distancing.

Local Florida reporter Jon Alba of the Orlanda/Tampa area picked up on the story and is providing live updates on Twitter.

Alba has also reached out to AEW for comment on their closed set tapings and whether or not it allows for safe social distancing to be practiced among their employees.

Another reporter from Orlando, Florida, Stephanie Coueignoux, has also picked up on Alba’s story and is reaching out to WWE and Florida governor DeSantis for comment.

This news comes in the wake of WWE being deemed an “essential business” by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, after not initially being considered on the list of businesses that Florida can’t afford to have close. The announcement provided WWE the go-ahead to operate in spite of shelter-in-place orders after some “some conversation with the governor’s office.”

Controversy around this decision arose for a number of reasons, most notable is perhaps the news that the day before Governor DeSantis made the announcement, Linda McMahon, wife to WWE President and CEO Vince McMahon and Chairwoman of America First Action, a pro-Trump Super PAC, committed to spending $18.5 million in Florida.

WWE recently announced a new taping schedule in the name of staff and performer safety.

“We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times,” the company said in a statement. “We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance.”

What do you think of WWE’s approach to employee safety? Should they shut down or will their methods work? Let us know down in the comments or hit me up on Twitter, @heyitsjjtravers.

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