World Wrestling Entertainment announced late Thursday night it is removing “some dated and edgier footage” from the web, an apparent effort to keep the clips from becoming fodder in the Senate campaign of its co-founder, Linda McMahon.
“Some of this footage has been misused in political environments without any context or explanation as to when it was produced. This damages the corporate reputation of our company,” said Brian Flinn, a senior WWE official.
Flinn, the senior vice president for marketing and communications, made the announcement in an email sent at 11:16 p.m. He said the statement was not a reaction to the recent use of WWE clips in a political ad.
WWE has previously complained about the prominence given some older clips, when WWE’s programming was TV-14, as a result of McMahon’s campaigns in 2010 and 2012.
“For years WWE has produced programming that is rated PG in primetime, and most recently rated G on Saturday mornings,” Flinn said. “To better reflect our current family-friendly brand of entertainment, WWE is removing some dated and edgier footage from digital platforms.”
By digital platforms, Flinn said, WWE was referring to YouTube.
Flinn said, “WWE is well within its rights to protect its intellectual property for fair use.”
One of the clips that was used by McMahon’s opponents in GOP primaries and in 2010 and 2012 featured her husband, Vince, ordered a female wrestler to strip, get down on all fours and bark like a dog. It is now unavailable on YouTube as a result of the WWE asserting its copyright.