TNA Wrestling is now telling fans who attend iMPACT! tapings that they aren’t audience members – they’re [unpaid] cast members – and they’re not supposed to react negatively against what they are seeing in the ring.
Prior to Monday’s iMPACT! TV taping in Orlando, members of TNA’s production team addressed the audience with instructions about “how act like cast members” in the filming of a TV series and not distract talent from “telling a story” to viewers at home.
“You are cast members here. It’s active, it’s TV-14, please, I know it’s fun to try to distract the talent up here, but they have to tell a story to two million people. You’re part of us. You’re helping us tell the story. Please don’t try and distract the story.”
The pre-show announcement comes the night after Genesis, when the iMPACT! zone totally crapped on Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff‘s opening segment, the Band, Sean Morey, Mr. Anderson and many of the other “new faces” in TNA.
The director also told TNA fans not to “throw up gang signs” and not to chant “bullshit” during the show, as it just creates work for the production team – who have to edit the bad language out.
“Every time you come here, I want you to be excited. What I cannot have from the audience are curses, flipped bird, and gang signs that I may not understand,” he said. “Please, watch your language. Please, watch what you do. If I ask you to remove a sign, I’m not even sure the reason. Somebody in the truck saw something. We’re going to be watching you. When we see this violation, we’re going to ask you to move.”
UPDATE: The YouTube video showing the whole incident has been taken down after TNA Entertainment complained to YouTube.