Gizmodo Media, formerly known as Gawker Media, is reportedly planning a screening for employees only of a documentary about Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the company after parent company Univision blocked a public screening.
The Daily Dot reports sources told them employees originally wanted to host a public screening of Brian Knappenberger’s Nobody Speak: Trails of the Free Press, as “Gizmodo Media Group (formerly Gawker Media Group) regularly screens movies at its New York City office.” However, that idea was reportedly blocked by Gizmodo Media’s parent company, Univision.
“Following protestations from editorial staff members, Gizmodo Media Group now plans to privately screen the documentary, Nobody Speak: Trails of the Free Press—a concession by CEO Raju Narisetti,” reported the Daily Dot. “The public will not be invited.”
“In mid-February, a member of the editorial staff proposed screening the Knappenberger film, a story that involves several current staff members who formerly wrote for the now-defunct Gawker website,” they continued. “The proposal was shot down a few days later by Narisetti, whom sources say consulted with executives at Univision, which purchased Gawker and its assets in September for $135 million. Gawker, the flagship website of what’s now Gizmodo Media, was shuttered shortly after the purchase as Univision sought to distance itself from the sex tape controversy.”
“Narisetti, who declined to comment for this story, consulted Gizmodo President Heather Dietrick (former Gawker president and general counsel) as well as executives at Fusion Media Group, a division of Univision,” the Daily Dot claimed. “It was Dietrick’s idea to host a staff-only screening as a compromise, a source said.”
This week, former Gawker CEO Nick Denton claimed that a “Zen Buddhism response” was needed to beat Breitbart News, before adding that billionaire tech entrepreneur and Trump adviser Peter Thiel, who financially backed Hogan’s lawsuit, had become a “national figure” and “extremely prominent” in American politics and culture.
“Peter Thiel, through his financial support of litigation and his support for political disruption through Donald Trump, has become a national figure,” Denton proclaimed. “He has become extremely prominent and an avatar, an embodiment, of the merger of the reactionary elite with a kind of populist celebrity in Donald Trump.”
Last year, Denton and Gawker were forced to pay out $140 million to Hulk Hogan following a lengthy lawsuit over the gossip outlet’s unauthorized posting of Hogan’s private sex tape.
Thiel decided to financially back Hogan’s lawsuit after Gawker involuntarily outed him as a homosexual in an article.
Thiel was not the first homosexual that Gawker outed, while the gossip media empire also mocked the death of Vice President Mike Pence’s dog, accused actor James Franco of being a rapist, encouraged readers to pirate Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight, published several celebrities’ nude photos, and refused to remove an uploaded video of the potential rape of a girl in a bathroom.
When former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio was asked in court what the limits would be in deciding not to publish a sex tape, he replied that the video would have to feature someone aged four or under.
“If you make a sex tape of someone with their permission, you are a pornographer. If you make a sex tape without their permission, we were told now you are a journalist,” said Thiel during a press conference following the lawsuit victory, where he also branded Gawker as a “sociopathic bully.”
“Gawker in some ways perfected it,” claimed Thiel on the topic of bullying. “Where you pick on people, and you would destroy their lives, and write nasty stories. The writers then might even add comments that were even more vicious than the ones in the story, all so as to generate a virtual mob that would go after these people.”
Following the controversy, Gawker Media was bought by Univision, who made it their first act to shut down the media company’s flagship site, Gawker, and rebrand themselves as Gizmodo Media.
Since filing for bankruptcy, Denton was denied the ability to lease his $4.25 million apartment in Manhattan, and he has since moved into a cheaper property. Hogan has since purchased a $1.6 million beach house.