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Dolph Ziggler Weighs In on WWE Classifying Talent as Independent Contractors, Says He Sees Both Sides of the Issue

September 30, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Dolph Ziggler Raw WWE

Dolph Ziggler appeared on Andrew Yang’s podcast recently and during the discussion, he weighed in on WWE classifying its talent as independent contractors. The issue has long been a point of contention, but came back up in a big way due to the recent brouhaha over WWE trying to restrict its stars from working with third party platforms. Yang, a lifelong wrestling fan, made headlines when he called WWE out over the independent contractor status and Ziggler told Yang that he sees both sides of the issue. You can check out highlights and the full video below:

On WWE’s classification of talent as independent contractors: “Yeah, it’s a gray area. Because, for ten years I’ve gone back-and-forth in like, ‘How does this make sense?’ But I see some points here and there. So, and as much as I’d like to stick it to the man — I’m a bad boy like you, I don’t wear the tie always. But there are some points that – I know they’re gonna be mad at me — they make. Because I am representing that company, even when I do a comedy show, or go on Fox News to do something. So if I’m doing something on the outside, I’m still representing them a little bit, you have to think in the back of your head. And then long-term when it comes to me maybe getting — I’m making this up — a Muscle Milk deal or something. So if I did did that, theoretically it is because of WWE that someone knows me, possibly … so if they want to do a deal, they go ‘Hey, we’ll give you a couple hundred bucks and all the Muscle Milk you can drink,’ and it’s almost a Kramer coffee episode of Seinfeld. And you’re like, ‘Oh okay, cool!’ And they’re like, ‘Well, WWE behind the scenes was working on a $5 million deal with Muscle Milk,’ and I just kind of ruined it, because I kind of cheapened myself out. So there’s a little bit of both sides we have to understand.”

On seeing both sides of the issue: “You’re still working for a brand, even though — I heard you on Chris Van Vliet’s show where it’s like, ‘Disney can’t own [an actor] that worked in their movie and is going to do something else.’ But for the most part, even though the paperwork is [huge], as long as it’s not bad-mouthing the company that you work for and a couple of other things, you get more and more leeway. And that paperwork is there, I think, to protect them — whether you think it’s fair or not, which I understand. But I also, after a while you ask and sometimes you get told, ‘It wouldn’t be great for the company to do this, but you make your own decision.’ But I’ve also — it took me 12 years of doing things and being sent to other countries on a PR tour, to go, ‘They can trust me to do something else.’ So I get both sides, but also when it comes to independent contractors, shouldn’t we be able to wear whatever the hell we want and, do what we want and as long as we’re there on Monday to do the match, you know what I mean? I get that.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Yang Speaks with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.