“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver is being sued by a top coal executive for defamation following a segment wherein the host made a mockery of the industry.
Robert Murray, the chief executive of Murray Energy Corporation, sued John Oliver, HBO, and Time Warner for defamation on Wednesday.
Murray accused the show of a “meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character and reputation” his reputation, the Washington Post reports.
Watch the segment below:
Before criticizing Murray on Sunday’s episode, Oliver noted that his show contacted the company, and it responded with a letter asking him to “cease and desist from any effort to defame, harass, or otherwise injure Mr. Murray or Murray energy.”
Oliver went on to say Murray looks like a “geriatric Dr. Evil” and criticized his response to a deadly 2007 Utah mine accident caused by safety violations.
“Bob Murray, I didn’t really plan for so much of this piece to be about you, but you kinda forced my hand on that one,” Oliver said. “And I know you’re probably going to sue me over this. But, you know what? I stand by everything I said.”
The lawsuit claims that Oliver deliberately omitted facts about the mining accident in Utah.
Murray and his company argue that an earthquake, not dangerous mining, triggered the collapse of the Crandall Canyon Mine, which killed nine miners.
Here’s last night’s story on coal, coal miners, and the coal industry. https://t.co/8HCX8bFgYS
— Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) June 19, 2017