Billionaires (and Hulk Hogan) Take on the Free Press in Trailer for ‘Nobody Speak’ Doc
In 2012, a videotape of professional wrestler and handlebar mustache advocate Terry ‘Hulk Hogan’ Bollea engaged in sexual congress with one Heather Clem (estranged wife of radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge, in one of this story’s more surreal details) surfaced online. Looking to hold someone responsible for what he felt was a violation of privacy, Hogan moved to take legal action against both Clem and Gawker, the media aggregation website that originally posted the tape in question. Florida’s state court turned into a battleground, not just between the Hulkster and one of the internet’s trashier publications, but between the moneyed elite and the free press.
The new Netflix documentary Nobody Speak: Trials of a Free Press starts by chronicling the Hogan v. Gawker lawsuit, but gradually expands its focus to capture a greater and more cataclysmic conflict. The narrative of Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit change when it was revealed that his extremely aggressive legal offensive had been subsidized by none other than Peter Thiel, noted venture capitalist and reported consumer of youthful blood. Thiel had a longstanding grudge against Gawker ever since the outlet outed him as gay years earlier, and the revelation that he was paying Hogan’s legal bills made the wrestler look an awful lot like a puppet the billionaire could use to kneecap his foe. The film, the new trailer for which was released earlier this week, begins with Hogan’s trial and pivots into a wider discussion about our present era of fake news, “fake news,” information wars, and InfoWars.
It’s timely and topical for sure, and yet the trailer still feels like a massive opportunity. If I may speak friendly: how are you going to title your movie Nobody Speak and then not score the trailer to “Nobody Speak” by DJ Shadow and Run the Jewels? That’d be like naming your movie “Don’t Stop Believing” and then going with Queen on the soundtrack. The movie looks fine and everything, but Nobody Speak music supervisor, what are you doing? You have one job!
Nobody Speak hits Netflix on June 23.