As we reported several days ago, World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon was reportedly angered by the content of Darren Aronofskys critically acclaimed film, The Wrestler, after the filmmaker gave the wrestling promoter a private screening at his Stamford, Connecticut offices.
The film, which centers on an aging wrestler named Randy The Ram Robinson (played by Mickey Rourke)–who goes from headlining major WWE-like events to performing in high school gyms in front of 200 fans–apparently struck a raw nerve with McMahon, who is allegedly blocking Foxs attempts to advertise the film during WWE broadcasts on Fox-owned MyNetwork.. Aronofsky probably didnt endear himself to McMahon with recent comments hes made regarding the unionization of the wrestling industry either. Theres really no reason why these guys are not in SAG, Aronofsky told Newsday. Theyre in front of a camera performing and doing stunts, and they should have that protection. They should have health insurance and they should be protected.” Curiously, McMahon has long maintained that his independently contracted performers arent athletes but entertainers, partially to get around having his events regulated by state athletic commissions. However, in order to keep the Screen Actors Guild out of his business, his shows are strangely identified as sports programming. “Im really curious to see what some of these old-timers make of it, said Aronofsky in an interview with Reelz Channel. When I won the Golden Lion, I dedicated the film to all the wrestlers, I kind of shared their stories. Theyre a unique lot. Theyre not organized, they have no pension, no health care, so many of them are tragically dying at a young age. I was talking to Mickey, Why arent wrestlers in SAG? If you really think about it, the Screen Actors Guild should organize them Theyre performing in front of a camera, and stuntmen are SAG.” Interestingly enough, Rourke was nominated this past week for Best Actor at the SAG Awards for his role in The Wrestler.