This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one. Sign up to receive articles like this one in your inbox here.
WWE’s performers are in a tough spot, where they work for the largest wrestling promotion in the world and yet are signed as independent contractors, and without the protection of a union. This is how WWE can flex their muscle to bar their wrestlers from streaming on Twitch without sharing the profits with the promotion, or hold performers hostage when they are not being used for months and months at a time and want to leave the company because of it. These kinds of behaviors got the attention of SAG-AFTRA a couple of years ago, but nothing came of that, and WWE’s wrestlers, despite being both athletes and television performers, belong to a union for neither.