John Cena talked in a special conference call earlier this week to promote WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops show. When discussing the company’s decision to turn “PG”, Cena had nothing but positive things to say about it.
Here’s what he said:
“Our programming has changed so much over the years. I started in 2002, our programming was more TV-14, edgy, anti-hero based, more conflict-hero based. Since then, I think our programming has made a turn for the better into more of a PG environment. All of our programming platform-wise is PG.”
“The reason is simply because the people who attend our events. More families began to attend and more children began to attend. When you have those young and youthful eyes looking at you, you know you’re global, you tend to have choices to make. Me being portrayed as a good guy on our programming, it was an obvious choice. I wanted to do my best to use my TV time to set good examples.”
The WWE was rated PG back in the ’80s when Hulk Hogan was at the peak of his popularity and many families attended shows and bought lots of merchandise. Although the shift in American society at the time caused the “Attitude Era” to manifest in the late ’90s and the product was rated TV-14 for many years.
It wasn’t until 2008 when Linda McMahon decided to run for a senate seat did the WWE turn back to a PG rating. This move may have had a positive effect on younger viewers and families, but it caused its older fans to tune out due to the tamer atmosphere with matches and storylines.
It’s interesting to note what Cena said in the last sentence saying he wanted to “use my TV time to set good examples“. This could be an indication that the company has no plans to make him turn heel for the foreseeable future despite outcries from some fans for him to change up his squeaky clean image he’s portrayed since 2005 onwards.
Are you a fan of WWE’s PG rating?
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