WWE & Vince McMahon Sued By Former Writer Over 'Offensively Racist & Stereotypical' Scripts

A lawsuit has been filed against WWE, Vince McMahon and others

Former WWE writer Britney Abrahams filed a 31-page lawsuit against WWE, Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and others in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York this week, in which she alleged she was discriminated against and fired for objecting to multiple instances of "offensively racist and stereotypical jargon" in WWE scripts for black performers. Also listed as defendants in the lawsuit are SmackDown Vice President Ryan Callahan, WWE Vice President Christine Lubrano, writer Jen Pepperman, and former writers Chris Dunn and Mike Heller. 

Abrahams noted in the lawsuit that she was hired by WWE as a temporary employee on March 11, 2020 before being offered a full-time position in May 2021 after impressing WWE executives. 

Among the examples of alleged "offensively racist" scripts is one that would have seen Bianca Belair say, "Uh-Uh! Don't make me take off my earrings and beat your ass!" 

Abrahams sent an email to Ryan Callahan about the scripted scene, in which she wrote: "I know I'm new, I'm not trying to be disrespectful or step on [Dunn]'s or anyone's toes, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that [Ms. Belair]'s scene includes racial jargon and offensive stereotypes, particularly her go-home line." Belair herself allegedly voiced her opposition to the promo, telling Abrahams: "3 DIFFERENT TIMES THAT I DON'T WANT TO SAY THAT LINE! BUT HE NEVER LISTENS TO ME! HE PUTS THAT LINE IN EVERY WEEK." Belair also allegedly said the line would have made her sound "ghetto."

Abrahams also voiced her opposition to Apollo Crews using a "stereotypical and exaggerated Nigerian accent" because of his Nigerian lineage. 

In more alleged racist pitches on WWE's Slack channel, one storyline would have seen Reggie/SCRYPTS dressed in drag as part of a team with Carmella, but the idea was only scrapped after a white writer said viewers would be offended. Shane Thorne (AKA Shane Haste) was also pitched to be a "crocodile hunter" and he would have hunted Reggie for fun. Thorne would capture Reggie and hold him captive in a cage as part of the storyline and after Abrahams objected to the pitch by stating that a white man hunting an African American is racist, Ryan Callahan allegedly asked and sarcastically questioned if that was a bad thing.

Another storyline that Ryan Callahan pitched was for Mansoor to be revealed as the person "behind the 9/11 attacks" as part of a love triangle with Aliyah and Angel Garza. 

Abrahams and other writers brought their concerns to WWE Vice President Christine Lubrano, who allegedly responded, "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. Four years ago, no woman worked on the writer's team!" Lubrano also claimed she heard Callahan's comments were "a joke."

Several allegations were made against Jen Pepperman, including that she "discriminatorily treated Plaintiff and other black, and African American WWE employees poorly compared to their similarly-situated white, and Caucasian counterparts."

The plaintiff claims in the lawsuit that her objections were rebuffed and she was "pretextually terminated" for taking home a special WrestleMania 38-branded chair in April 2022. Her lawyers have claimed taking home a chair is common practice and white male writers were not fired for doing the same thing. 

As part of the lawsuit, Abrahams is seeking "reinstatement, damages, declaratory judgment, and an injunction restraining the defendants from engaging in such unlawful conduct."

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons