Earlier today WWE issued a statement announcing that Lars Sullivan (real name Dylan Miley) has been fined $100,000 for historical bigoted and misogynistic comments. The comments in question were made between 2007 and 2013 on a Bodybuilding.com message board. The comments surfaced in November of last year before dying down. It wasn’t until Big E publicly addressed the situation on Twitter that the controversy became headline news.
Many are aware. If true, he has to bear the albatross of being a bigot & working in a company that is now filled with minorities.
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) May 8, 2019
As you can see, it was common knowledge backstage with the talent. You can imagine it would probably have made the situation hard backstage. There were also rumors that Lars aborted push before WrestleMania wasn’t to Lars’s perceived anxiety attacks but to keep him off TV until the dust had settled.
With the company facing pressure from its sponsors (Mars Wrigley in particular) WWE had no option but to issue a full and public statement –
WWE supports a culture of inclusion regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, and we are committed to embracing all individuals as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers, and fans worldwide.
Dylan Miley (aka Lars Sullivan) will be fined $100,000 and required to complete sensitivity training for offensive commentary uncovered from his past. WWE will also facilitate meetings for Dylan with community organizations to foster further discussion around the power of social media and the impact of your words.
Blake’s Take: It’s been a tough 12 months for WWE. Firing and re-hiring of Hulk Hogan. Controversial tours to Saudi Arabia. And now the Lars Sullivan situation. And let’s not forget that TV host John Oliver publicly bashing the company for its alleged lack of aftercare for its wrestlers over WrestleMania week. The company HAD to be seen to do the right thing. I’m sure many will say that it’s too little too late, but maybe the corner has been turned. This is indeed a right step. To prove to the world that they are listening. That they are prepared to do whatever it takes to right these wrongs.