The comedian grappled with working conditions at the WWE, which he said gets away with regarding performers as independent contractors even though it signs them to exclusive contracts.
The predicament leaves the wrestlers with health and financial protection so meager that it makes McMahon look like an “asshole,” Oliver said. The wrestlers have a “shockingly high” premature death rate, added Oliver, who compared the WWE rather unfavorably with another sports organization with battered alums.
“When you’ve lost the moral high ground to the fucking NFL, you are morally subterranean,” the HBO host said.
Watch above to see Oliver’s takedown ― and a possible solution ahead of next Sunday’s WrestleMania.
The WWE issued a statement in response to the segment on Monday, writing to HuffPost:
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.