Chevron Forces Documentarian to Spill

In an effort to defend itself in a $27.3 billion lawsuit, Chevron is trying to get 600 hours of raw footage from the filmmaker behind the 2009 documentary “Crude.” The lawsuit involves 30,000 Ecuadoreans who are suing Chevron for polluting a big chunk of the Amazon rainforest through drilling and dumping, and the documentary covered the ongoing fight.

The “Crude” filmmaker was fighting the request, citing the First Amendment and journalist privilege, but a judge overruled him last week and is allowing Chevron to subpoena their footage. Documentarians and filmmakers are worried the case sets a dangerous precedent. Michael Moore weighed in, claiming the ruling would amount to a chilling effect on whistleblowers. Ric burns told the New York Times that the decision “contributes to a general culture of contempt for investigative journalism.”

The result, he said, would be that “next time, there won’t be a ‘Crude.’ There won’t be a film. That’ll be good for Chevron, I guess. Because the next time you go, you’re going to have a much leerier group of informants.”

Article from New York Times (via The Click)

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