WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon was a recent guest on Variety’s Strictly Business podcast to discuss a number of different topics, most notably why WWE continues to do work with Saudi Arabia despite push-back from fans. Hear what she had to say below.
Why WWE continues to do business with Saudi Arabia:
WWE takes the approach that we want to be part of the change and, not judging any brands or decisions other companies make, they have to do what it right for them, but for us, you have to be there to be part of the change. For example, in Abu Dhabi, it took us six years to be able to have our women perform. If we would have pulled out, we would have never had that opportunity. Sometimes it takes persistence and tough decisions. That was a tough decision. We decided ultimately that we wanted to be there to help the change and we were able to do that. That’s a remarkable part. It’s amazing what you can do when people come together for the right reasons.
How surprised she was to see so many families in the stadium in Saudi:
I was surprised at how many families were in the stadium in Saudi. I don’t know why, my perspective was that it would be a predominantly male audience…I guess I do know why I would have thought that [laughs]. The surprise was that it was families and kids and WWE merchandise and it’s exactly what WWE is all over the world. We are a family-friendly brand and we bring people and communities together. It shouldn’t surprise me that our audience, even though skin tone might be different and people look different all over the world, it’s all the same. It’s the same people, families coming to enjoy the product.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)