This initiative, which aimed to introduce a fresh narrative within the wrestling world, encountered significant apprehension due to the potential perception of the gimmick in Saudi Arabia, a country where LGBTQ+ activities are strictly prohibited by law.
WWE News: The Concerns Behind the Gimmick
Mansoor detailed how, upon Vince McMahon’s return from retirement, there were immediate reservations from the creative team about the portrayal of the Maximum Male Models.
These concerns were rooted in the fear that the gimmick could be misinterpreted as an LGBTQ+ representation, which could potentially offend WWE’s partners in Saudi Arabia.
Mansoor recalled, “We were getting messages from the creative team like, ‘Hey, we wanted to put you in this backstage segment, but somebody’s a little concerned that the portrayal of the character may offend certain important partners to the company.'”
WWE News: Vince McMahon’s Clarification
Vince McMahon himself addressed the nature of the gimmick directly with the performers involved. McMahon emphasised that the portrayal was not intended to be a commentary on sexuality but rather a depiction of metrosexuality.
Mansoor quoted McMahon saying, “Listen, it’s not a gay thing. Okay. Not a gay thing. You’re metrosexual.”
Despite McMahon’s clarification, the Maximum Male Model gimmick was eventually dropped, leading to the release of Mansoor and Mace from their WWE contracts in September of the previous year.
This decision underscored the complexities and challenges WWE faces in balancing creative expression with the cultural sensitivities of its global partnerships.
- What was the Maximum Male Models gimmick?
- A WWE storyline involving characters portrayed as male models, emphasizing fashion and appearance.
- Why did WWE have concerns about the gimmick in Saudi Arabia?
- Due to laws against LGBTQ+ activities in Saudi Arabia, there were fears the gimmick could be perceived in a way that might offend WWE’s Saudi partners.
- What did Vince McMahon say about the gimmick?
- McMahon clarified that the gimmick was about being metrosexual, not about representing LGBTQ+ themes.
- What was the outcome for the gimmick and the wrestlers involved?
- The gimmick was discontinued, and both Mansoor and Mace were released from their WWE contracts.