John Oliver is known for going after big corporations during his late-night show on HBO, Last Week Tonight. On Sunday, March 31, Oliver took aim at another giant and this time it was World Wrestling Entertainment and CEO Vince McMahon. Oliver’s attack on WWE comes just ahead of WrestleMania 35.
Oliver went after WWE one week ahead of its biggest show of the year for what he argues is a lack of concern about the long-term health and current health of their Superstars.
The late-night host argued that wrestlers tend to die at a young age at a higher rate than NFL players. Oliver cited former stars like Eddie Guerrero, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Chyna, who all died before the age of 60.
A big part of the issue when it comes to wrestlers’ health is the fact that they are considered “independent contractors” and not full-time employees.
“While the character Vince is an asshole, it’s important to know that the real Vince is also an asshole,” Oliver said, as transcribed by the Hollywood Reporter. “Many fans legitimately hate him because while the WWE has made him a billionaire, many wrestlers say he’s treated him terribly. Maybe when wrestlers might work years ago for multiple, different [wrestling] organizations, it made sense to call them contractors. 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*ck machine.’ It’s just clearly not true, anymore.
“Even the NFL, for all its massive faults, now offers players health reimbursement accounts and have established a legacy fund for older players who may be dealing with health issues. And when you have lost the moral high ground to the f*cking NFL, you are morally subterranean.”
You can check out the full segment from Last Week Tonight below.