Gawker Media has made an increasing business of, well, putting people’s business front and center on its main page and associated network of blogs. Be it a weird inclination to fight Hulk Hogan in court to post his sex tape on the site, to offering a bounty on Lena Dunham‘s pre-Photoshopped photos for her Vogue shoot on Jezebel, Gawker has increasingly played the part of moustache twirling villain.
That noted, nobody knows how to destroy a villain quite like Quentin Tarantino, and he’s out to be the Aldo Raine to their Hans Landa, in the courtroom at least. Tarantino is suing Gawker Media for actively pursuing a leaked copy of his Hateful Eight script, and posting it for readers once a copy was procured. Entertainment attorney Martin Singer flied the lawsuit today in U.S. District court, the language of which is aggressive and guns blazing.
“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck. This time they went too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay illegally. Their headline boasts ‘Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’ – ‘Here,’ not someplace else, but ‘Here’ on the Gawker website. There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the Screenplay, and it’s conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity.”
The later statement is in regard to Gawker providing a series of hyperlinks for its readers to download the screenplay. As previously noted, the script, which was the next to be directed by Tarantino, was shelved after one of a small circle of actors and agents leaked his ensemble Western within the industry biosphere. His decision to novelize the script, and return to it at a later date is perhaps now too, in jeopardy.
Tarantino seeks a court trial, an injunction against Gawker to stop further distribution of the Hateful Eight, and is asking well over a million in damages.
No word yet from Gawker, but whatever it is, it’ll likely be interesting, if not slightly caustic based on their previous responses to self-generated controversy.