Trigger warning: Rape.
I’ve been trying to get on with various jobs all day today but the events that came to light last night are still bothering me, so I’ve decided to blog now rather than later, as I was planning to do.
This is a really sensitive situation and I’m aware that it would be very easy to get this wrong, so all I’m going to focus on are my own thoughts and emotions in response to the accusations that have been made.
If you read my blog a couple of days ago, you’ll know that I went to wrestling school and came out fired up and excited about being part of something that I’d wanted to by part of my entire life. If you didn’t read it, now is a good time, as this blog reflects on many of the comments I made that night.
Yesterday, very strong accusations were made about the promoter/owner of the company I trained with. The upshot of this is that I no longer wish to train at this school, or indeed be associated with them in any way.
Talent has been leaving the company in droves since this came to light last night. Both established performers and trainees alike have distanced themselves from the company. The Facebook group that I was added to after the training has seen it’s membership drop minute-by-minute, with many people posting about their disgust while saying their farewells.
Further accusations were then made on Twitter, and comments were made by many suggesting that this is not a one-off. One Twitter comment even suggested that the organisation was full of similarly-minded people.
In a flash, my excitement at joining the industry has gone.
I’m aware that this is just one person. That the industry has collectively turned on him, and the UK wrestling family that I hear so much about has pulled together to address the many questions that this raises.
I’m also very aware that my excitement will return, because this won’t stop me from pursuing what I started.
I just feel sick.
I feel sick that this has happened. That there are victims. That anyone has had to go through what they went through. That it appears that this has been raised before and no action was taken.
I feel sick that out of all the companies I could have chosen, I managed to pick this one.
I feel sick that the hearsay on Twitter seems to suggest that people knew it was going on, but didn’t do anything about it.
I feel sick that in my excitement, the judgements I made about the company in my previous blog were so far wide of the mark.
And I feel sick that I’ve spent so much time today in shock at this whole situation.
I didn’t sleep last night. It all kicked off while I was working on restoring the castings page on the BrightonActors.co.uk website, which I never finished. Once I realised that something was happening, I had to dig around on Twitter a lot to find out what was going on, because names were not being used at that point.
I now fear that this could explode, and that there are more victims and perpetrators out there than we know about right now.
I really hope my fears are unfounded.
In the meantime, if anyone can recommend respectable wrestling schools for complete newbies (ideally within an hour and a half’s drive of Brighton) please let me know.
And if you know of anyone else treating people like we have seen here, remember- it is your duty to speak out.
I’m also here as an impartial, non-judgemental ear if anyone wants to talk about issues that this raised.