Nobody Speak Trailer

When news spread of Hulk Hogan having a sex tape leaked online, it felt like nothing more than tabloid gossip. But when the former wrestler and reality TV star began a legal battle between his rights to privacy and the freedom of the press, the story turn a much more significant turn, one that makes this lawsuit even more important than most realize.

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press is a new documentary that premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and it illustrates why the verdict ruling against Gawker and founder Nick Denton, especially when it comes to those who funded the lawsuit itself, has the potential to create a slippery slope that threatens the freedom of the press.

Watch the Nobody Speak trailer below.

The bulk of the documentary focuses on the lawsuit between Gawker, with Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bolea, taking the stand and being forced to differentiate between his real life and the character he played on television. This includes him admitting to embellishing the size of his penis. The documentary doesn’t make an attempt to defend Gawker and Nick Denton, both of which are responsible for some pretty sleazy things, but instead focuses on the ethics of the lawsuit itself as Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel funds the lawsuit as a sort of vendetta against the company as a way to silence them.

This lawsuit isn’t about Hulk Hogan’s right to privacy – it’s about trying to set a precedent to silence the media. The lawsuit sets the stage for the other troubling stories involving the Las Vegas Review–Journal and some troubling conflicts of interest that come from their new owner Sheldon Adelson, not to mention the ongoing and troubling perception of the press being created by Donald Trump and his travesty of a presidential administration.

Nobody Speak gives us a glimpse into the threat that the wealthy have become to the freedom of press, something that can directly affect how we get information about the very politics that run our country, states, and cities. If the rich gain the power to control the press at a time when factions of the media are struggling to stay afloat, then is the press really free anymore? If you want to know more about the documentary, you can read our own Peter Sciretta’s review from Sundance.

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press hits Netflix on June 23.

When the online tabloid Gawker posted a surreptitiously filmed sex tape of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, it ignited a high stakes legal battle that pit privacy rights against the first amendment. The staggering verdict bankrupted Gawker and its founder Nick Denton, but also exposed a shadowy figure behind the scenes — Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel. Nine years earlier Gawker had outed Thiel on its site and the furious billionaire had been waiting for his chance to destroy them.

The Florida trial happened against the backdrop of a contentious election. Thiel’s battle with Gawker, along with Sheldon Adelson’s secretive purchase of the Las Vegas Review–Journal and President Trump’s treatment of journalists, portend a sinister trend threatening a free press and has brought to light a potential threat to democracy. Are the very wealthy thwarting the First Amendment to silence critics? In an age of extreme inequality, how vulnerable is a free press that has lost most of its traditional sources of income? Perhaps most frightening, what could a billionaire with the executive branch at his command do to those who have angered him?

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