Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press

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Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press
Nobody Speak Trials of the Free Press.jpg
Directed byBrian Knappenberger
Produced byBrian Knappenberger
Femke Wolting
Korelan Matteson
Music byGarron Chang
Edited byAndrew Mcallister
Release date
23 June 2017 (Netflix)
Running time
95 minutes

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press is a 2017 Netflix documentary directed by Brian Knappenberger.[1][2][3] The documentary is themed around the effects of big money on American journalism. The documentary focuses on two incidents: Peter Thiel financing wrestler Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media, and casino owner Sheldon Adelson's secret purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.[4]


The film starts with the legal proceedings of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, who (with the financial backing of billionaire Peter Thiel) had filed a lawsuit against Gawker Media, seeking $100 million in damages for releasing a sex tape featuring him and Heather Clem. Gawker Media subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as a direct result of the lawsuit.[5] Thiel had reportedly wanted to bring Gawker down for having published an article nine years earlier which outed him as gay.[6][7]

The film then covers an incident where casino mogul Sheldon Adelson bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal, while keeping his identity as the buyer a secret, even to the journalists employed by the company.[8] The management also did not reveal the new owner of the company to the employees, and denied that the Adelson family was involved when asked about the possibility. Adelson himself had also denied his ownership in an interview with CNN.[9] This caused a couple of its journalists to start investigating it on their own by calling their contacts. They eventually uncovered that Sheldon Adelson was indeed the new owner, and after publishing an article with the revelation, were forced to step down.[10]


Nobody Speak has mostly been well received by critics. It holds an 89% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes[11] with an average rating of 6.8/10 based on 23 reviews. The film has a score of 69 on Metacritic, indicating generally favourable reviews.[11]


  1. ^ John DeFore (January 25, 2017). "'Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  2. ^ "Gawker, Hulk Hogan, and the fight for a free press – ThinkProgress". 26 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Hulk Hogan's sex tape and the free press collide in a riveting new Netflix documentary". Vox. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  4. ^ Tiffany, Kaitlyn (2017-06-22). "The director of Netflix's Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker movie wants you to stand up for the press". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  5. ^ "'Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press' examines the dangers to news media in the age of Trump". 22 June 2017 – via LA Times.
  6. ^ Thomas, Owen. "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people". Gawker. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  7. ^ Meyer, Robinson. "Facebook's First Major Investor Is a Trumpist". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  8. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (2017-06-22). "Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press review – Hulk v Gawker in portrait of wealthy arrogance". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  9. ^ Duara, Nigel; Barabak, Mark Z. (2015-12-16). "Vegas mystery solved: Sheldon Adelson was behind purchase of Review-Journal". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  10. ^ "Adelson son-in-law orchestrated family's purchase of Las Vegas Review-Journal". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  11. ^ a b Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, retrieved 2017-07-14