Former Canadian wrestler and promoter Emile Dupree has passed away at age 86, according to Fightful. Dupree was also the father of former WWE World Tag Team Champion Rene Dupree.
The news was announced by James Here, who co-hosts "Cafe de Rene with Rene Dupree," on Instagram Sunday. "With a heavy heart, I have to share the news that Rene's father, Emile Dupree, has sadly passed away today at the age of 86," Here wrote.
"Emile (Born Emile Goguen,20th October 1936 in his beloved town of Shediac, New Brunswick) began wrestling back in the 1950s & wrestled many fellow wrestling legends...Before retiring & watching his son René carry on his legacy by becoming a Multiple-time Champion in WWE & Japan," he added.
"He'll be remembered as one of the great wrestlers & promoters from the territory days & also a beloved Husband, Father & Grandfather. Rest in Peace Emile," the co-host concluded.
Emile Dupree trained with Canadian wrestling legends Reggie Richard and Vic Butler during the 1950s, Wrestling Inc. reported. His career as a wrestler spanned more than 30 years until he retired in 1988.
Although he left the ring, Emile Dupree didn't leave the sport entirely. He continued as a promoter with the company he founded, Grand Prix Wrestling.
The elder Dupree brought the world some of the sport's icons, such as Andre the Giant, Sexton Hardcastle, and Rocky Johnson, to the scene. He worked closely with his son Rene, who became a star in his own right.
Notably, Rene Dupree was ahead of his time in 2016 when he filed a lawsuit over royalty payments from streaming services. According to the Hollywood Reporter at the time, Rene Dupree brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of WWE performers who were in the sport from 1980 until the time of the lawsuit.
Unfortunately, the suit was dismissed days later. Rene Dupree had apparently forgotten about a contract he had signed in 2011 that the defense attorney pointed out "destroys his ability to bring these types of claims."
At the time of Rene Dupree's ill-fated lawsuit, streaming was mainly relegated to Pay-Per-View and other services in their infancy. Still, the issue has become a full-fledged problem as Hollywood strikes over residuals.
The rise of content streaming has upended the compensation structure for the people who make it, Fortune reported. In the past, union members were able to collect residual payments every time their work was shown in a rerun or when hard copies, such as DVDs of their work, were purchased.
However, streaming pays little to no residuals, which has caused an uproar in the industry leading to a strike less than a decade after Renee Dupree's legal action. "I did an episode of ‘Criminal Minds’ and was getting residuals," bit-player Whitney Morgan Cox explained.
"And then ‘Criminal Minds’ moved to Netflix and those checks stopped coming. And then it did a resurgence on cable TV, I got a couple more checks. It went to streaming, the checks stopped coming," Cox said, illustrating the disparity in the way payments are sent based on the platform where the movies, TV shows, or events are watched.
Emile Dupree had a career and a company that greatly impacted his sport. His legacy lives on, both in the actions of his son Rene and in the memory of all of those who loved him.