|This guy wants you to harass people. This guy. For crying out loud.|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Whether or not it was intentional, Glenn "Disco Inferno" Gilberti doubled down on the inflammation by tweeting for people to send him pictures of hot women at wrestling shows in exchange for a shoutout on his podcast. When called out upon it, he gave a classic "I was only joking" non-apology, and then remarked at how "Twitter" was too easily triggered, as if getting mad isn't a valid human response. These last couple of days have shown that wrestling fans and the industry that fosters them still has a giant harassment problem, and it's not going away overnight.
Of course, with the bad comes the good. The most fatherly father figure on Twitter (not me, dorks), Mike Hales, took to decrying all harassment on any level. He also announced he would be promoting a women's wrestling tournament with strict guidelines on fan behavior. It was seen as refreshing, but the fact that it people thought it to be a breath of fresh air is infuriating. Why do Papa Hales or I or any other of the number of decent people have to keep repeating ourselves in seemingly futile attempts to make the wrestling arena a safe place for fans of all demographics?
I don't understand how excluding fans makes the live experience better. I don't understand how people in the business would want to chase away anyone. Even if you strip the basic humanity away from any argument against creepshotting and harassment, those people have money that's just as good as the cash coming from the asswipes creating toxicity. In fact, one fan attempting to gatekeep and gawk and harass will end up keeping multiple other fans, either directly by turning fans off from going to the next show or indirectly by reinforcing negative stereotypes of wrestling, especially indie wrestling, and keeping people from checking a promotion out. Harassment keeps money out of the hands of promoters and wrestlers alike, so why implicitly endorse it the way that Stutts and Gilberti, among others, have?
It's a sleazy, hyper-capitalist argument, but it would appear appealing to the humanity of people who make wolf-eyes or espouse racist ideology is futile since these people seem to have misplaced theirs at the very least. I mean, some rando doofus replied "How much have you drawn in the wrestling business?" to me when I called out Gilberti, as if that number is significantly lower than the amount of money someone paid to see Disco Inferno. I mean, the dude has spent a career riding coattails in WCW, but that's not the point. Money to these ghouls is the only metric, so sadly, it's what one has to use to try to get people not chase away fans because they're not cishet White males.