John Oliver might have to make some room in his schedule for a day in court. Both he and HBO are being sued for defamation over a segment on the June 18th episode of "Last Week Tonight" about the Trump Administration's seemingly generous treatment of the coal industry.
The plaintiff in the case is conservative coal baron Robert Murray, Murray Energy and other associated coal companies. According to the suit, Oliver and Co. created a "villainous" portrait of Murray and his companies by saying things like Murray "looks like a geriatric Dr. Evil" and insinuating he doesn't care about the safety of his employees.
The complaint goes on to claim, "this callous, vicious, and false attack upon Mr. Murray and his companies was Defendants' most recent attempt to advance their biases against the coal industry and their disdain for the coal-related policies of the Trump Administration."
As for HBO, a spokesperson says they haven't seen the suit, but they're "confident" the staff of "Last Week Tonight" didn't violate anyone's rights. And Oliver probably isn't surprised by the lawsuit. During the episode, the host was basically dared Murray to sue him, mentioning the coal exec's litigous past, and totally ignoring a cease-and-desist letter that was sent to him.
ONE MORE THING! HBO and "Last Week Tonight" aren't the only things in Robert Murray's crosshairs. He's also suing the "New York Times" over an editorial that discussed a deadly 2007 mine collapse in Utah that left seven workers dead. That particular mine was co-owned by Murray Energy.