WWE pulls 'edgier' footage amid Senate race

New Haven — The wrestling company formerly led by Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon said it's removing "some dated and edgier footage from digital platforms," prompting her opponent to charge she doesn't want voters to see that her business experience comes from selling sex and violence to children.

WWE, formerly known as World Wrestling Entertainment, said it has produced programming for years that is rated PG in primetime, and most recently rated G on Saturday mornings.

"To better reflect our current family-friendly brand of entertainment, WWE is removing some dated and edgier footage from digital platforms," the company said in a statement. "Some of this footage has been misused in political environments without any context or explanation as to when it was produced. This damages the corporate reputation of our company. WWE is well within its rights to protect its intellectual property for fair use."

McMahon stepped down as chief executive of WWE to run for Senate unsuccessfully in 2010. She's now running against Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy.

"This is what Linda McMahon doesn't want Connecticut voters to see: the sum total of her business experience comes from selling explicit sex and violence to children while laying off 10 percent of her workforce and taking multimillion dollar paydays funded by Connecticut taxpayers," said Ben Marter, a Murphy campaign spokesman. "But spending millions of dollars on a political image make-over isn't going to fool Connecticut families, and Linda McMahon can't hide from her miserable record of promoting the abusive, demeaning, and degrading treatment of women."

"The question is," Marter added, "is the WWE now coordinating with McMahon to cover up her embarrassing past?"

A spokesman for McMahon's campaign on Friday referred comment to WWE.

Murphy's campaign released a television advertisement this week accusing McMahon of laying off workers while her company took millions in tax credits. WWE said after reducing its work force by 10 percent in 2009, the tax credits helped the company expand its work force by almost 30 percent in the past three years.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last month showed McMahon getting 49 percent support to Murphy's 46 percent among likely voters. That poll showed McMahon leading among men 54 to 42 percent and Murphy leading among women, 50 to 46 percent.


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