Be a Bully or Be a Star?
by, 08-20-2011 at 09:58 PM (3248 Views)
In recent news after Summerslam, on August 19, 2011, Lisa Wright, Managing Director of Council for Unity, wrote a letter to the be a STAR Alliance (beastaralliance.org) questioning their affiliation with the WWE. The letter was sent after she received an e-mail, which pointed out the “fat jokes” regarding Vickie Guerrero, apparently referring to Monday Night Raw when Vickie Guerrero was at the announcer’s booth and Jerry Lawler was making fun of her weight. Ms. Wright was showing her concerns because the Council for Unity is one of many companies which affiliated with the be a STAR Alliance. The following is her statement:
"I recently received an e-mail regarding your alliance with the WWE. The e-mail pointed out the "fat jokes" about Vickie Guerrero. Wrestling as I perceive it consists of name calling and threats culminating in violence to settle conflicts. How does this fit with your mission to `Show Tolerance and Respect?' Are you saying this behavior is alright for entertainment value? As an employee of a member organization listed on your website, your questionable judgment reflects poorly, not only on you, but on all the organizations listed there.
"As an organization whose mission is to prevent violence and bullying, we must be careful who we partner with and what messages that partnership sends. As we look for funding, ways to market our mission, and new partnerships, we must remain aware of the cultural forces that impact those that we serve. Furthermore, we must be sensitive not to promote the very negative behaviors that we have spent our professional lives trying to prevent. I fail to see how an alliance with the WWE will do that. We must be aware that in our business, as in life, actions speak louder than words. The WWE may, in principal, be against bullying and the violence that so often accompanies it, however, the very nature of the business is not conducive to a culture of inclusion and peace that we here at the Council for Unity seek to create. To that end, we respectfully request the removal of our organization from your web site."
I understand her view and applaud her for taking a stand, BUT if she actually went to the beastaralliance.org website, she would discover that be a STAR Alliance is founded by The Creative Coalition and the WWE. So, she was basically questioning the WWE’s affiliation in an organization, which was co-founded by the WWE. In short, she was questioning WHY THEY WERE A PART OF SOMETHING THEY CO-FOUNDED?! Well, if she is not comfortable that the Council for Unity is listed as one of the affiliates of the be a STAR Alliance, then it is her prerogative to request their organization to be removed from the website.
Now as a turn of events, the following day, Lisa Wright has issued a retraction and an apology regarding her criticism of the be a STAR Alliance’s anti-bullying campaign with the WWE. In a letter sent to Diva-Dirt.com, WWE and the be a STAR Alliance, Wright says she changed her tune on the matter after further research and receiving intelligent feedback from some of the wrestling organization's loyal fans.
Wright wrote, "After careful consideration and research on my part, plus some intelligent feedback from some of the loyal fans of WWE, I realize that perhaps I reacted too harshly and without enough information. I have been reminded that the important issue is the prevention of bullying and the protection and support of those that have been victimized by it. Ultimately, my own actions, intended or no, have had a negative impact."
She continues, "I hereby offer an apology to the Be a STAR foundation and the WWE. I also wish to rescind my request that my organization be removed from the Be a STAR Alliance website. There are often many ways to reach a goal; the important thing is that we support each other on our journey."
She adds that her initial letter was never intended to be made public and that it was never her intention to disparage the be a STAR Alliance, WWE, their wrestlers and many fans.
MY PERSONAL ASSESSMENT
Now my personal take on the news report is that Lisa Wright was being a MAJOR BULLY on a corporate level. If you reread the tone of the first letter, she apparently was telling the be a STAR Alliance that they don’t know what they're doing and that they are only partnering with the WWE for financial support and in doing so, they are a walking contradiction of what they are promoting. Because of this, their organization does not want to be associated with the be a STAR Alliance. People who work on the corporate level and interact constantly with lawyers know the power of that letter. That letter is a corporate BULLYING tactic to criticize an organization for sponsors to pull out, with the idea that you can cause a domino effect with other companies to follow suit. Vince McMahon knows the receiving end of that bullying tactic first hand when during the Attitude Era sponsors were pulling out particularly due to the protest by the Parents Television Council.
Could she have handled the situation more professionally? Very much so. I assume that the reason why she didn’t handle it professionally was because she wasn’t speaking on behalf of the Council for Unity when she sent that letter. If it were a professional call to send the letter, the wording would have been more appropriate. Though she has mentioned that her “own” actions had a negative impact, she knew what she was doing when writing the letter and was expecting the negativity to be towards the WWE, indirectly trying to get them out of the alliance which the WWE co-founded. This reminds me of reading those stories of total strangers calling the police regarding child abuse on parents who are disciplining their own kids. You don’t know the whole story so please don’t let your personal perception cause you to act hastily.
Also, I find it humorous that practically all the Board of Directors for the Council for Unity are from New York with some being executives in the Entertainment Industry. I am guessing that quite a few of those that hold a seat on the Board know Vince McMahon personally and probably have his personal number. That is my assessment as to why Ms. Wright’s retraction letter came out immediately after news of her original letter reached the Internet. I do not believe that the loyal fans with intelligent feedback were from the Internet community. I am sure that many fans wrote to her, but I believe that the loyal fans mentioned were the higher ups within the Council for Unity organization.
And that’s why BULLYING is wrong, boys and girls! You may think that you’re big and bad, but little do you know, the person you are bullying is BIGGER AND BADDER than you.
PS - I believe the WWE is all about bullying, but that's why we like it. The heel v. face, is the storyline for practically every match. How can the good guy rise to victory if there wasn't a heel trying to bully him down? But, I also believe that kids know the difference between bullying and a wrestling show.
(this article is based on the news items reported on the ewrestlingnews.com)