John Oliver is going after the WWE again.
In his featured segment on Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight”, the comedian addressed how poorly the professional wrestling company treats its wrestlers.
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Oliver noted that WWE classifies its wrestlers as independent contractors, leaving them with problems like a lack of health insurance during the off-season.
He also brought up statistics about the number of professional wrestlers dying at a young age, with 20 per cent of WWE superstars dying in their early-to-mid-50s.
WWE wrestlers are also often living without pension plans, forcing them to come out of retirement, and that they regularly fail to receive workers’ compensation for injuries.
“Maybe when wrestlers might work years ago for multiple, different [wrestling] organizations, it made sense to call them contractors,” Oliver said. “But now that WWE has a choke hold on this industry, it makes just as much sense to call them that as it does to call Jimmy Carter a ‘panty-dropping f**k machine.’ It’s just clearly not true anymore.”
To help make a change in how the WWE treats its star employees, Oliver encouraged fans attending WrestleMania 35 on April 7 to chant “retirement accounts, workers’ comp, and family and medical leave.”
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WWE responded to Oliver’s segment in a statement: “John Oliver is clearly a clever and humorous entertainer, however, the subject matter covered in his WWE segment is no laughing matter. Prior to airing, WWE responded to his producers refuting every point in his one-sided presentation. John Oliver simply ignored the facts. The health and wellness of our performers is the single most important aspect of our business, and we have a comprehensive, longstanding Talent Wellness program. We invite John Oliver to attend WrestleMania this Sunday to learn more about our company.”
On Twitter, Oliver’s segment received praise from wrestling fans.