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July 22, 2015

Stephanie McMahon Talks Darren Young, Says Young’s ‘Character’ Isn’t Gay, Is There A Reason For Lack Of LGBT Gimmicks?

The Daily Beast recently posted an article discussing WWE’s possible hesitation to promote LGBT characters on their programming, and it features some notable comments from Stephanie McMahon.

McMahon, who was noted to have made the comments while attending the ESPN ESPY Awards last week, said the ‘Darren Young’ character isn’t gay, but the man who plays him, Fred Rosser, is.

“Darren Young was the first WWE superstar to really come out as being homosexual, but his character in the show is not. At least, we haven’t done anything with it either way — just yet.”

McMahon also noted that WWE isn’t opposed to adding a gay or LGBT character, but it should be done right and make business sense:

“It could very well pop up in WWE because we are all about what’s relevant, and what’s pop culture, and what people want to see. So if there is an opportunity, we might just take it…

…You know, in WWE our storylines are a year long. They don’t go episodic, week to week—they really are the arc from WrestleMania to WrestleMania. So sometimes it takes a little longer than people would like for the seeds to grow. But we’re constantly planting them.”

The article goes on to talk about ‘flamboyant’ characters in wrestling history, and some rumored suggestions of taking a “top star” and making him gay. The Wrestling Observer’s Ben Miller, who was also quoted for the piece, added,

“I think the big worry that WWE has is that they think their audience is really stupid. So they worry that they’re going to have a character who comes out as gay, and it’s going to be like the Mexican soccer fans in Charlotte chanting ‘culero’ at [an opposing player]. I think they think that their fans would chant something homophobic at him, and that’s going to get press and make WWE look not progressive.”

Darren Young came out as gay in August 2013, making him WWE’s lone openly gay active wrestlers. While it is public knowledge, almost no mention of Young’s homosexuality has been made on WWE TV, aside from a few comments by his tag team partner, Titus O’Neil, like during a WWE RAW vignette. The pair were talking about a coming out party during their quest for the tag team titles, and Titus quipped that Young ‘already had his’ last year.

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