John Oliver sued for 'character assassination' on HBO's Last Week Tonight

John Oliver

"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. HBO

On Wednesday, coal magnate Robert Murray sued John Oliver, the writers of his show Last Week Tonight, HBO, and Time Warner, The Daily Beast reported. The segment began by addressing the hit that the coal industry has taken over the years, disputing certain assertions in the industrial and political spheres that blamed the industry's decline on President Barack Obama.

In the suit, Murray says the show was a "meticulously planned attempt to assassinate" Murray's character. "Stop telling them their jobs are coming back when they're not... an honest conversation about coal and it's miners needs to be had".

"One more thing here", said Oliver, addressing Murray directly.

In the broadcast, Oliver stated, "Bob Murray, I didn't really plan for so much of this piece to be about you, but you kind of forced my hand on that one", the complaint states. "I know you're probably going to sue me over this".

"Overall I'd say it appears frivolous and vexatious". HBO now stands alongside The New York Times and several smaller newspapers as targets of legal action, as a result of criticising Murray Energy.

Murray has also previously filed at least nine lawsuits against both news outlets and journalists over the publishing of an advert in which activists criticised him, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said.

Murray's lawyers actually tried to stop the segment from airing in the first place, but Oliver wasn't receptive to the idea. He called Murray a "geriatric Dr".

The lawsuit makes claims of defamation, false light invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, seeking an unspecified amount in damages. While the meat of the lawsuit regards Oliver's claims about the collapse of the Crandall Canyon Mine in 2007-Murray claims it was the result of an natural disaster, Oliver says there's no evidence to support that claim-fans of general absurdity will be thrilled to learn that this legal document also addresses that very important squirrel incident.

According to the complaint, "This callous, vicious, and false attack upon Mr. Murray and his companies was Defendants' most recent attempt to advance tehir biases against the coal industry and their disdain for the coal-related policies of the Trump Administration".

The main story of last Sunday's Last Week Tonight was coal, a segment that dove into important distinctions between between the coal industry, coal miners, and coal companies.

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