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WWE plans to ‘integrate’ LGBTQ characters into storylines

 Stephanie McMahon  attends the WrestleMania 30 press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe New York on April 1, 2014 in New York City.
Stephanie McMahon attends the WrestleMania 30 press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe New York on April 1, 2014 in New York City. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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

The onscreen authority figure was a guest speaker at the event, which explores “key issues associated with diversity & inclusion.”

McMahon told NBC this week that the WWE is committed to inclusive storytelling, saying, “When it makes sense… absolutely we will integrate LGBTQ storylines into our programming.”

“Throughout my life I have grown up knowing gay [WWE] superstars and executives. It’s always been accepted, but now it’s about getting that message out there. We will integrate LGBTQ characters into our programming… and I do think there will be an opportunity to integrate some of those storylines in the near future,” McMahon revealed about the televised show.

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McMahon reminisced about wrestling legend Pat Patterson, who just released a book, Accepted, this week.

“It’s about his life as a gay wrestler and how from the beginning of his career he had to hide that,” McMahon explained. “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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WWE currently has two openly gay performers, Superstar Darren Young and developmental talent Daria Berenato.

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Despite the WWE partnership with GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy organization, the WWE prioritizes sensitivity in their writers’ room.

“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,” McMahon shared.

“In terms of any issues that require a degree of sensitivity in terms of how they’re being handled, we are 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,” the mother of three said.

Not everyone was thrilled with the announcement.

It is unclear when the WWE will start working LGBTQ characters into storylines considering there are no imminent plans, but it is something to keep an eye out for now, considering McMahon’s statements.

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