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FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2015 file photo, John Oliver speaks at Comedy Central's "Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs" in New York. Oliver used nearly the entire season finale of his HBO show on Nov. 13, 2016, to criticize President-elect Donald Trump. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

A coal CEO has sued HBO TV host John Oliver for defamation


A top coal executive is suing John Oliver after the comic mocked him during a recent broadcast of his HBO series, "Last Week Tonight," according to The Washington Post.

Robert E. Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, on Wednesday reportedly filed a defamation lawsuit against Oliver, HBO and Time Warner in West Virginia circuit court.

The suit reportedly accuses Oliver of a “meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character and reputation” of Murray during last Sunday’s episode of Oliver’s show.

“Nothing has ever stressed [Murray] more than this vicious and untruthful attack,” the suit says, adding Oliver’s recent show segment advances “biases against the coal industry.”

Noah Schachtman, the executive editor of The Daily Beast, on Thursday, poked fun at Murray’s lawsuit using a GIF of Oliver.

The ACLU of Ohio, meanwhile, tweeted out a toolkit to Oliver aimed at helping him deal with critics of his public remarks.

Oliver last Sunday aired a segment on the coal industry’s decline, repeatedly deriding Murray and his company’s business practices.

Coal: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

The comic noted that the company had sent him a letter asking him to “cease and desist from any effort to defame, harass, or otherwise injure Mr. Murray or Murray Energy.”

“Bob Murray, I really didn’t plan for so much of this piece to be about you, but you kinda forced my hand on that one,” he said, joking that Murray resembled a “geriatric Dr. Evil.”

“And I know you’re probably going to sue me over this. But, you know what? I stand by everything I said.”

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