Zelina Vega’s termination may have been a direct result of her OnlyFans, but it points to a larger workers’ rights issue within the WWE.
The WWE announced that it would be cutting ties with performer Zelina Vega due to a contract breach. Vega, the stage persona of 29-year-old Thea Trinidad, was a rising star within the WWE world, but some new and unpopular rules in the WWE meant that her online presence on OnlyFans and Twitch was grounds for termination.
These new rules, implemented by WWE CEO Vince McMahon, essentially state that performers with WWE are no longer allowed to use third-party platforms like Twitch to supplement their income. Online platforms have recently become a popular way for actors and celebrities to make extra money and cultivate their fan base. Even OnlyFans, a community based around cosplay and lingerie, has provided a successful platform for creators. However, larger companies like WWE can see these sites as a threat because if WWE performers are active online, WWE can’t have exclusive control over their performers’ image. This is why the WWE banned their performers from using these platforms.
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These rules about external platforms are why Vega was recently fired from WWE, Sports Illustrated reports. In direct response to these WWE rules, Vega created an OnlyFans account, where she offered exclusive cosplay and lingerie photos for a $30 monthly subscription fee. This account was reportedly a direct challenge to the WWE executives like McMahon. WWE considered these activities a breach of contract and fired Zelina Vega as a result. Vega was also an active streamer on Twitch, which may have contributed to her termination.
I support unionization.
— 𝓩𝖊𝖑𝖎𝖓𝖆 𝓥𝖊𝖌𝖆 (@Zelina_VegaWWE) November 13, 2020
Vega has also been very vocal about her support for unionization, and following her termination, posted the above tweet directly referencing the situation at WWE. All the performers at WWE are considered independent contractors and are therefore not protected by unions. Supposedly, if the WWE performers were able to unionize, they would be able to bargain against unpopular rules like the Twitch ban collectively.
Vega’s termination caused a stir online, and it is unclear if the performer will ever make her return to the WWE. She was the first WWE performer to be terminated due to these rules, though there is no telling whether other performers will suffer similar consequences. While the WWE considers these rules an honest attempt to protect their brand, for performers like Vega, the Twitch ban is an unfair restriction that points to a broader workers’ rights problem within the WWE.
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Source: Sports Illustrated
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