Maria Kanellis: WWE Need Outside Human Resource Audits After Trash Bag Scandal
She also received her items back from WWE in bin bags
Maria Kanellis believes WWE should invite an external human resource team to do an audit of the company in the wake of recent criticisms of the promotion.
Former WWE superstar Mickie James revealed in April that, following her release from the company, her possessions had been sent back to her in bin bags.
Other former superstars have since come forward to reveal they were treated in a similar manner, resulting in WWE publicly addressing the situation on social media, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon personally calling James, and Mark Carrano's departure from the promotion.
Kanellis has now revealed she too received her items back from WWE in the same way and believes the trash bag is 'symbolic' of how the company sees the talent it is letting go.
Now working for Ring Of Honor, she believes WWE should consider utilising an outside HR company to ensure they are operating at best practice.
Speaking to Fightful, Kanellis said: "I’m going to be very careful about how I word this. Because I think that it’s important for people to understand the facts of the matter and not just make assumptions.
"I’ve received two boxes with trash bags in them of my stuff. The stuff is the gear that I leave at the show in a drawer because I don’t want to travel with it, because it’s too expensive and it weighs too much to be flying back and forth. Gear is very expensive. The people that make it, they spend a lot of time making it. So, that’s why we leave it there. So, I’ve received two boxes with my gear in a trash bag.
"So, I think the bigger issue is that if they didn’t know that this was the practice, that’s a problem. If they knew it was a practice, that’s a problem. You should know what is happening with your former employees. Whether it be how they’re getting their stuff or whether there’s an exit interview, which I have had at any other job that I have left to find out—were you treated well? Anything you would like to discuss? Would you like to talk about how your interactions were with management? Management should know what is going on with their employees and with their former employees. The trash bag is symbolic of how WWE feels when you’re out the door. I feel like that’s the biggest issue.
"That’s the issue at the end of the day. People have outside HR all the time. Especially billion-dollar companies. They don’t want to touch that. Part of my degree was HR. You have an outside company. If you’re fearful of that, you have an outside company that comes in and does these audits. I think it’s something they need to look into and it’s something they’ll probably never do.
"But, for me, being in the role that I have now, I take it very seriously how everyone feels as a person and wants to be heard. I take it very seriously a person’s health in the ring, their mental health, how they want to be seen creatively. This is important. This is a person’s life.
"We all like to pretend like wrestlers are fake characters on TV that aren’t real human beings, but we’re still human beings at the end of the day. To not be treated like trash should be the number one thing any company is trying to do is not treat anybody like trash. Number one thing that companies should be trying to do is take care of their employees because the happier your employees are the better they perform. It doesn’t matter what company you work for—if you work at a restaurant, if you work at a college, you work wherever—the number one thing is the happier your employees are, the better they perform."