Jump to content

Wrestling #MeToo #SpeakingOut


Keith Houchen
 Share

Recommended Posts

In hindsight the speaking out movement may have benefited from having not started the movement until this time this current year as shows are about to return back. 

I guess the reason why the movement had got so much traction on social media was due to the down time during the pandemic. 

Looking on Twitter I see a lot of hurt from a lot of the women in the business reliving the outpouring of the abuse received and telling all. 

There seems to be upset that all is in vain and nothing will change. 

It got me thinking about is there enough of the internet audience to care and want to be proactive to make a difference?

In what way make a difference? So in a sense they need to become activists in the fight. 

So it would mean a bit of disruption at live events. Maybe having chants at abusers during matches to draw attention to the talent for their actions that the family show audience will not be aware of. 

Leafleting the line of an independent show they are attending. 

Bombardment of social media when promoters make announcement of abusers on their events highlighting it. 

Having enough like-minded fans to care and to galvanise and get organised to mobilise their activist hopes of changing the industry. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Hoptimus said:

In hindsight the speaking out movement may have benefited from having not started the movement until this time this current year as shows are about to return back. 

I guess the reason why the movement had got so much traction on social media was due to the down time during the pandemic. 

Looking on Twitter I see a lot of hurt from a lot of the women in the business reliving the outpouring of the abuse received and telling all. 

There seems to be upset that all is in vain and nothing will change. 

It got me thinking about is there enough of the internet audience to care and want to be proactive to make a difference?

In what way make a difference? So in a sense they need to become activists in the fight. 

So it would mean a bit of disruption at live events. Maybe having chants at abusers during matches to draw attention to the talent for their actions that the family show audience will not be aware of. 

Leafleting the line of an independent show they are attending. 

Bombardment of social media when promoters make announcement of abusers on their events highlighting it. 

Having enough like-minded fans to care and to galvanise and get organised to mobilise their activist hopes of changing the industry. 

Whilst I do appreciate your stance on this, I really don't believe enough people give a shit to go to that much effort. We are a relatively aware group on here, but the average punter isn't likely to know about the issues nor give a fuck about it if they do. Maybe I am just way too cynical but that's the impression I get in the UK in 2021. I'll gladly be wrong though. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members
5 hours ago, Hoptimus said:

So it would mean a bit of disruption at live events. Maybe having chants at abusers during matches to draw attention to the talent for their actions that the family show audience will not be aware of. 

That won't help at all. You'll still be supporting them financially, it'll probably look like part of the show to the rest of the audience and, if you are too disruptive, they can just kick you out. Might even get a kicking as well.

I'll treat it the same as any other boycott. I'm aware that I'm unlikely to effect real change but at least I'm not giving the cunts any money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of shows on a Candian tour by punk band The Casualties were cancelled after the singer was exposed as a rapist, as a direct result of grass roots activism.

https://nowtoronto.com/the-casualties-become-a-casualty

Things are potentially a bit more complicated due to COVID as some venues will be happy just to have bookings of any description making it a bit more difficult to apply pressure. But if you never try, you'll always fail.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members
13 hours ago, unfitfinlay said:

That won't help at all. You'll still be supporting them financially, it'll probably look like part of the show to the rest of the audience and, if you are too disruptive, they can just kick you out. Might even get a kicking as well.

I'll treat it the same as any other boycott. I'm aware that I'm unlikely to effect real change but at least I'm not giving the cunts any money.

I think the only way to really affect a promotion with direct activism is by picketing outside the venue with clear signs and leaflets, to dissuade people from buying. But I don't know how effective that would be, not to mention some of the more shady ones won't have any scruples about beating picketers up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

I think the only way to really affect a promotion with direct activism is by picketing outside the venue with clear signs and leaflets, to dissuade people from buying. But I don't know how effective that would be, not to mention some of the more shady ones won't have any scruples about beating picketers up.

Picketing an event will just stop people attending all wrestling shows. The general public won't know one promotion from another and a bad experience will just put them off from going again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe that's true, both in the sense that the majority of people attending wrestling shows aren't first-timers who don't know anything at all (not directly in wrestling but having worked in events & marketing for a decade I'd expect 60 to 80% of ticket buyers are previous purchasers depending on how fast your event is growing) and also most people can absolutely differentiate between brands.

That said, even if you were to concede the truth of that - that protesting and pushing back against the wrestling industry allowing known abusers and keeping the conditions & standards that allows those abusers to prosper will kill attendance completely I would still rather that happened and wrestling in this country died on its arse than shrug and go "Well, the industry will die if we don't let people get abused"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members
2 hours ago, Carbomb said:

I think the only way to really affect a promotion with direct activism is by picketing outside the venue with clear signs and leaflets, to dissuade people from buying

 

CarefreeOfficialBird-max-1mb.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members
7 hours ago, Carbomb said:

I think the only way to really affect a promotion with direct activism is by picketing outside the venue with clear signs and leaflets, to dissuade people from buying. But I don't know how effective that would be, not to mention some of the more shady ones won't have any scruples about beating picketers up.

Progress had union picketing outside the Ally Pally shows but my mate had paid for the tickets months before. Was it equity? Poor example mind as one of those leading it was David Starr.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's more that you picket outside shows - not to dissuade people from attending that specific show but because it's the most direct way to get in front of the eyeballs of people currently spending money there. You're unlikely to get them to not attend this one, but it's a more direct way of highlighting things many current fans won't like but maybe aren't engaged on Twitter to see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/16/2021 at 9:47 AM, kamicazze said:

if ever something needed a documentary on it to raise awareness this is it. Not for us, as us being on here makes us aware. For the people who take their children to these wrestling schools, the familys who watch these wrestlers at holiday camps & just to shine a light on the issues that have happened. 
 

This is a massive can of worms because the narrative of events will be greatly debated.

 

For example, this past weekend i saw several people claim it began when Bravis Tanks was outed, saw somebody claim Progress 'listened to the fans and took immediate action' etc, if a Doc aired we would be in this sub pointing out all the inaccuracies.

Also, much like Dark side, you will get the talking heads who have no right or authority to appear but will because they want the spotlight (something that has already happened in SO).

BBC/ITV don't get Wrestling, how are they going to be able to do this justice?

 

A well researched (and non bias) book would be a better route.

 

On the subject of picketing, Rival promotions will see this as a chance to stir trouble, the fact that somebody clearly used the APPG to take a dig at Kamikaze kinda backs this up.

Edited by theringmaster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, theringmaster said:

This is a massive can of worms because the narrative of events will be greatly debated.

 

For example, this past weekend i saw several people claim it began when Bravis Tanks was outed, saw somebody claim Progress 'listened to the fans and took immediate action' etc, if a Doc aired we would be in this sub pointing out all the inaccuracies.

Also, much like Dark side, you will get the talking heads who have no right or authority to appear but will because they want the spotlight (something that has already happened in SO).

BBC/ITV don't get Wrestling, how are they going to be able to do this justice?

 

A well researched (and non bias) book would be a better route.

 

On the subject of picketing, Rival promotions will see this as a chance to stir trouble, the fact that somebody clearly used the APPG to take a dig at Kamikaze kinda backs this up.

Probably the best post I have seen on the subject.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members
On 6/19/2021 at 3:45 PM, Jesse said:

I don't believe that's true, both in the sense that the majority of people attending wrestling shows aren't first-timers who don't know anything at all (not directly in wrestling but having worked in events & marketing for a decade I'd expect 60 to 80% of ticket buyers are previous purchasers depending on how fast your event is growing) and also most people can absolutely differentiate between brands.

This really varies depending on your audience. For something like PROGRESS, RevPro or Fight Club Pro, that largely cultivates an online fanbase and brand loyalty? Absolutely, the name matters. To your holiday camp shows, family shows, ALL-AMERICAN STYLE LIVE WRESTLING, and other local outfits with barely a Facebook page to their name? Not at all. Those companies, by and large, are The Wrestling. Dad buying tickets for the kids because of a poster he saw in the chippy isn't taking notice of the promotion name, just LIVE WRESTLING. When I still had a hand in that sort of thing, my biggest bit of advice to the guy doing our poster artwork was always "make sure WRESTLING is the biggest word on there" because it's going to do more to attract a casual passer-by than whatever alphabet soup your company's initials are, or whatever witty name you came up with for the event.

The companies with a big online presence are, by and large, not going to take too many risks on booking the people prominently named in Speaking Out. There will be some who slip through the cracks, and people prepared to berate promoters for booking them, when in reality I'm sure a lot of individual cases will have slipped people's attentions - a lot of Very Online wrestling fans tend to assume that promoters and wrestlers spend as much of their time knee-deep in Twitter gossip as they do, and in my experience that's rarely the case, and it's easy to have a scandal or two pass you by.

The companies that largely escape fan pressure will be those with a predominantly offline business model. Wrestlers themselves need to feel empowered enough to say "I'm not working the show if he is", and promoters need to be prepared to listen. That still won't fix everything, because promoters will still book their dodgy mates as "surprise opponents" to get around people trying to boycott shows with them advertised (part of the reason why I think there should be a bit of a moratorium on "surprises" on shows for a while), wrestlers who can't get work with bigger companies will just end up going into business for themselves or propping up shittier promoters...there's always going to be ways that arseholes end up in the business, and it's just a matter of what everyone else can do to minimise that.

My worry, as I've said before, is that promoters and fans alike seem to think that "don't book Travis Banks and David Starr" is the solution. That "don't book people who have already been caught out" will somehow rid the business of abusers, rather than actually pushing people to meaningfully change the environments that allowed abusers to get away with it for so long. Until shows are properly up and running again, it's going to be hard to tell whose codes of conduct are worth the paper they're written on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can only speak personally here.

I made allegations nearly a year ago based on a historic occurence whereby a well known female talent had passionately kissed me when I was approximately ten years old - this was witnessed by my best friend and matches several occurences where the talent in question did the same thing with other men (caught on camera at least three times) and in one case what would appear to be a boy according to an article written about a show. I raised my story essentially out of solidarity with female talents who had made their allegations. My intention was to validate their story by sharing my own experience. Statute of limitations expires today.

It was never my intention to 'cancel' any talent. I want to see an acknowledgement by those involved that they have behaved in an unacceptable manner and I want to see changes made - in my case, the talent in question is part of a family of great influence in British wrestling. They have great power to change things.

The immediate response was for members of the family to issue threats (both legally, physically and through incitement) and to slander their accusers (against the women). Then came the 'these people are good people, therefore the accusers are definitely lying' argument and then pretty much whitewashing (i.e. 'we've trained disabled talents, we have a trans talent' etc. - all great stuff, but it doesn't erase the problem).

How do we proceed? Its tricky. The APPG was always limited in what it could do, prosecutions are pretty much impossible with these things unless there's an absolute smoking gun and the intimidation alone was enough to silence some accusers. The positive is libel action is expensive for the accused and the difference in burden of proof favours defendents with evidence. In my case, I was advised I'd have been easily able to prove on the balance of probability what I had alleged had happened. That would have then given the green light for media to report as alleged - something the accused would have desperately wanted to avoid, and frankly so would I. 

The only solution, I think, is education - to ensure these things don't happen again and to understand who the most unrepentant abusers are. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...