Stand Up for WWE: WWE responds to a column in the Journal Inquirer

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May 25, 2012

WWE responds to a column recently published in the Journal Inquirer. To read the column, click here.

May 24, 2012

Mr. Chris Powell

Managing Editor

Journal Inquirer

306 Progress Drive

Manchester, CT 06045

Dear Mr. Powell:

It is with great dismay that we find it necessary to once again point out that you have made false statements of fact in the Journal Inquirer regarding the business of WWE, this time in your column on Monday, May 21, 2012. That article clearly was intended to state that WWE is a “business of violence, pornography, and general raunch.” This is now at least the second time you have made false statements that damage our corporate reputation, and the second time you have stated that WWE is involved in pornography. As we pointed out in our letter on February 2, 2012, following your initial libel, your position as managing editor would ethically require you to report the facts and not distort the truth. That you would repeat the false statement that WWE is in the pornography business, after being told of the falsity of that statement, is especially strong evidence of malice.

With regard to your statement on May 21 that WWE is a “business of violence,” WWE programming, like Hollywood movies and Broadway shows, is an exciting blend of action, characters and fictional storylines of good versus evil entertaining millions every week, including approximately 300,000 fans here in Connecticut. Our performers are professionals who have spent many years training to perfect the athletic and choreographed maneuvers on our shows. Your assertion that our content is violent is in direct conflict with the standards and practices departments of our current TV network distributors who have rated our programming TV-PG. We would also note that your prior writings prove that you know WWE is not in the business of actual violence, as your own words in your prior January 28, 2012, article previously described our business as involving “mock violence.”

With regard to your false statement that WWE is in the “business of pornography,” which you have now stated twice, that statement is categorically false and especially malicious. Simply put, WWE has never been in the pornography business. As we previously advised you on February 2, 2012, when you first libeled WWE by such statements, our broadcast programming is TV-PG and has always appeared on basic cable or broadcast television. As any casual television viewer knows, based on the Federal Communications Commission’s rules alone, WWE’s programs would not be permitted on broadcast television or basic cable if in fact they were pornography. WWE is family entertainment. In fact, 40 percent of the millions of fans who attend our live events bring their children. Apart from being completely false, it is insulting to these parents to think that they would take their children to view what you falsely assert is pornography.

Our company started with 13 employees 30 years ago and has grown to nearly 700, which speaks to the quality and staying power of our product and our organization. WWE may not be your personal choice of entertainment, but that does not give you the right to make false statements of fact about our business which willfully damages our corporate reputation. 

Accordingly, WWE hereby demands a retraction in the Journal Inquirer by June 4, 2012, in as public a manner as that in which you made these false statements. Should you fail to issue the retraction, we will seek legal and all available remedies.

Sincerely,

Brian Flinn

Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications

cc:

Elizabeth Ellis, Journal Inquirer

Daniela Altimari, Hartford Courant

Tom Dudchik, CT Capitol Report

Rick Green, Hartford Courant

Susan Haigh, Associated Press

Dennis House, WFSB-TV

Brian Lockhart, Hearst Connecticut Media Group

Kevin Rennie, Hartford Courant

Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie

Neil Vigdor, Hearst Connecticut Media Group

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