- The Washington Times - Friday, August 12, 2016

The WWE expects to include LGBT characters and storylines in the “near future,” WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon said during a Beyond Sport United event in New York.

Ms. McMahon told NBC OUT this week that her organization is committed to inclusive storytelling, saying, “when it makes sense … absolutely we will integrate LGBT storylines into our programming.”

Though the WWE said it has no imminent plans to introduce an LGBT storyline, Ms. McMahon stressed that there will “absolutely” be an opportunity for one in the “near future.”

Through its partnership with GLAAD, the WWE is also prioritizing sensitivity in its writers’ room, NBC reported.

“We’ve had GLAAD come in and speak to our entire writing team and give a whole tutorial on sensitivities, the right words, the wrong words, why those words matter,” Ms. McMahon said. “In terms of any issues that require a degree of sensitivity in terms of how they’re being handled, we are always going to incorporate our partners, like GLAAD, to help us tell those stories the right way, because we do want to be sensitive to our audience, we want to be sensitive to the community and we want to make sure that we’re telling the right messages in the right way.”

Ms. McMahon said she’s always known gay WWE stars, and it’s always been accepted in the organization, “but now it’s about getting that message out there.”

She spoke fondly of gay wrestling legend Pat Patterson, who just this week released a book, titled “Accepted,” NBC reported.

“It’s about his life as a gay wrestler and how from the beginning of his career he had to hide that,” Ms. McMahon said. “He first came out … on a show on WWE Network called ‘Legends’ House.’ It was a reality show with a bunch of our legends, and he had such a positive response. It was so warm and supportive that he then decided to tell his story.”

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