NEW YORK (KTLA) — World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Vince McMahon are being sued by a former writer over what she called “offensively racist and stereotypical jargon” in scripts.
The complaint was filed on April 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of Britney Abrahams by the Cochran Firm, according to Bloomberg.
Abrahams, a Black woman, worked for WWE Smackdown! and WWE Monday Night RAW in 2020.
According to the complaint, she complained of the use of racist and stereotypical language in scripts for Black wrestlers like Bianca Belair and Apollo Crews.
The scripts had Belair saying, “Uh-Uh! Don’t make me take off my earrings and beat your a–!” and Crews to speak with a “stereotypical and exaggerated Nigerian accent,” the publication reported.
Abrahams said her complaints were ignored.
She claimed she witnessed racist pitches while on a Slack thread that included McMahon and his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, even after she issued the complaint.
Abrahams said one pitch included having a Black wrestler dress in drag. She claimed that only after a White colleague said the move could “perpetuate harmful stereotypes that would offend viewers,” was the idea thrown out.
Another story pitch was to have a Muslim wrestler’s secret be that he was “behind the 9/11 attacks.”
According to the report, Abrahams and other writers complained but Vice President Christine Lubrano reportedly said, “Wacky things are said in the writer’s room all the time!” and “I know but look at the waves we’re making in the company. 4 years ago, no woman worked on the writer’s team!”
Abrahams ended up being fired by the WWE in April 2022 for taking a WrestleMania 38 branded chair. She claimed retaliation as she continued to object to racist and sexist story ideas and pitches. She said the practice of taking chairs was “common” and that white male writers were not punished for it.
She is seeking “reinstatement, damages, declaratory judgment, and an injunction restraining defendants from engaging in such unlawful conduct.”
The lawsuit comes as McMahon rejoined the WWE board earlier this year after retiring as chairman and CEO in July of 2022 amid sexual assault and hush money allegations.
McMahon has been the face of the organization for four decades.
Earlier this month, WWE merged with UFC’s parent company, Endeavor, to form a sports entertainment powerhouse.
News 2’s sister station, KTLA, reached out to the WWE for comment on the lawsuit, but had not heard back at publication time.