The eccentric and controversial character that is Vince McMahon is taking a page out of the book of Mr. Burns — the main antagonist of “The Simpsons” — because of course he is.
McMahon, who seized control of the WWE again earlier this year, after retiring last July due to reports of him paying millions over the years to multiple women to keep allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity from being made public, signed a new employment agreement with the company earlier this week.
McMahon’s new contract runs for two years with the annual compensation package being valued at around $7.6 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. With the company on the market and likely to be sold, McMahon, who currently serves as the WWE’s executive chairman, would seem likely to be ousted in the event of a sale, right?
Well, not so fast.
In the contract that McMahon recently signed, there is a stipulation involving the rights to his life story, in the event that the company gets sold.
“The Company further acknowledges and agrees that McMahon will have the exclusive right to communicate, convey, commercialize, license, or otherwise exploit his life story … including without limitation any books (memoir, biography, autobiography, etc.), articles or essays, audio recordings, audiovisual works (documentary, biopic, scripted program, dramatization, fictionalization, etc.) (the ‘Life Story Rights’),” per the contract.
The company would also waive any claims “relating to confidentiality, non-disparagement, non-competition, or other restrictive covenant or affirmative undertaking binding on McMahon that results from any content, communication, or action in connection with any exercise of the Life Story Rights and any embodiments thereof.”
So pretty much, McMahon would have total freedom to make a biopic of his life story without fear of retribution from the WWE.
It’s essentially the real-life adaptation of Mr. Burns making a movie about himself, which he did in the 18th episode of the sixth season of “The Simpsons” called “A Star is Burns.” In the episode, which aired in 1995, Mr. Burns made a film about himself called A Burns for All Seasons and was later nominated for an Academy Award because he was bribing all of Hollywood.
While that conflates the point, “The Simpsons” often accurately predicts the future, and when it comes to McMahon you never really want to rule anything out. Now, that he’s retained the rights to his “life story,” the only question that remains is if McMahon will play himself in the biopic or handpick an actor instead.