The inner workings and backstage stuff that goes into producing a wrestling TV show and PPV are fascinating. Every year, we hear horror stories about working in different companies whether it’s WWE, Impact Wrestling, or AEW.
Recently, an ex-AEW production talent named Louie Benson shared his experiences with bullying in the company.
However, from what Benson stated in a series of tweets, his work—which is difficult already and extremely time-sensitive—was made even more difficult by office bullying.
A Rough Year In AEW
Louie Benson’s work involved producing various video packages, graphics work, camera work—a ton of stuff to promote on-screen talent and move stories along.
He carried out his work with no complaints and wasn’t combative from his version of events. The guy was pretty much the kind of worker that most companies would want and would be the backbone of said companies.
According to Benson, his supervisors or seniors engaged in what was basically a harassment campaign. AEW executive vice president and on-screen talent Cody Rhodes was used as something of a boogeyman to essentially bludgeon Benson into compliance.
Which is weird because Benson states he was working between 36-38 hours on the clock but doing in the area of 50 hours a week editing and working on AEW content. The guy was textbook compliant.
The unnamed senior told him that Cody disliked him and that Benson was only still employed with AEW by his—the senior’s–graces.
As a creative-oriented talent, Benson was also frozen out of being credited for his contributions for a period and couldn’t call himself a producer. According to Louie Benson:
“It didn’t matter that I was doing the work, or that said boss wasn’t in the room for 80% of the shoots, because he hadn’t decreed it, it wasn’t so.”
This isn’t even getting into being deemed lazy for wanting to take three days off that he’d earned to deal with moving. Or taking COVID-19 precautionary measures for himself and his girlfriend—and by extension his fellow AEW co-workers.
Interactions with AEW On-Screen Talent
Employees outside of the production department complimented his work. When he encountered Cody Rhodes, there were normal greetings in passing but there was still fear on Benson’s part.
QT Marshall liked his work as did Tony Schiavone who was heavily involved in WCW’s production years ago. His work was valued by those he was warned not to talk to, they took notice.
AEW hasn’t responded to the accusations of bullying yet. It’s possible the company won’t and if it is addressed it will likely be done in private.
What it looks like is that others above him took credit for his work. He wasn’t credited for work he’d contributed to and when he finally was it was as a “production assistant.”
Couple that with his account that he was made to basically stay hidden from the on-screen staff early.
We can’t forget being told not to post that he works for AEW on his LinkedIn or on social media before eventually being told to delete all of his social media.
This is a production guy. A producer. He wasn’t leaking stuff about match results and backstage beef.
He was doing a job that he was proud of doing in an industry that he follows. Questions tend to be asked when someone is just around backstage or wherever and that wouldn’t look good for the bully.
“Who are you? You do what? Here? Really?” The most damning thing to me is his interactions with Cody Rhodes.
Of anywhere Cody has been, that unnamed production senior’s build of him into this fire-breathing dragon who hates this particular guy is probably the best character build I’ve seen for “The American Nightmare.”
The kicker is that these interactions were cordial each time and from Benson’s version of events, it seems as though Cody wasn’t even aware of all of this.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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