View Full Version : HBO's John Oliver Being Sued by Coal Company

June 24th, 2017, 02:09 PM
NEW YORK Coal company Murray Energy has sued HBO and its Sunday-night host, John Oliver, for what it says was a "false and malicious broadcast" last Sunday evening. It's seeking financial damages and a court order barring rebroadcasts of the segment's "defamatory statements."

Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" coal segment criticized the Trump administration's effort to revive the industry, saying coal jobs have dropped for decades and other energy alternatives are driving the industry's decline.

He ribbed Murray Energy's CEO Robert Murray, who blames regulatory efforts by the Obama administration for damaging the coal industry. He said the 77-year-old looked like a "geriatric Dr. Evil" and noted that the company had fought against coal safety regulations.

The Ohio company sued the comedian Wednesday afternoon in circuit court in West Virginia, saying that he tried to embarrass Murray by making fun of his age and appearance and made false statements about a 2007 collapse of a Utah mine, when nine miners died. The company said Oliver ignored information it sent the show that it says showed an earthquake caused the mine's collapse and that the show made no mention of "the efforts Mr. Murray personally made to save the trapped miners."

An HBO spokesman says the show didn't violate Murray Energy's rights or those of Murray. Oliver noted on the show that Murray Energy has a litigious past, and last month sued the New York Times for libel.

Murray Energy employs about 5,400 people, about half of those in West Virginia.


This is a couple days old, but I'm curious to see what you guys think of this especially the ones who were cheering the supreme court decision on offensive trademarks.

June 24th, 2017, 03:00 PM
I love John Oliver lol and he called it saying he was gonna get sued :lol:

June 24th, 2017, 09:34 PM
It will be very interesting to follow this court case if it goes public.

Just to see the ripple effects on what comedy can and cannot do. It's a danger to the first amendment in some respects though, at least it would prove civil suits aren't protected by first amendment. Run your mouth, get fined etc.

June 25th, 2017, 11:34 AM
Well since Trump is (rightly or wrongly) very much focusing many policies to focus on business interests, I can imagine it won't be the last time a comedian mocks a company and gets potentially sued for it.

June 25th, 2017, 11:39 AM
In favor of free speech comedians should have same rights to make fun of companies as everyone else.

June 25th, 2017, 01:27 PM
In favor of free speech comedians should have same rights to make fun of companies as everyone else.

That's not the way defamation laws works. Comedians do not have more or less rights to make false accusations than the regular person.

June 25th, 2017, 01:45 PM
If Oliver wins, this will be a little white spot on D. Trumps otherwise so immaculate black vest.

If it ends otherwise, you'll facing the coal-side of life.

June 28th, 2017, 12:47 PM
Just want to point out that this is not about a joke, but its a company trying to influence the media to not say or report what they don't like no matter if its true.

June 28th, 2017, 04:45 PM
He only sued because he said he would. You have to follow through on your threats.