×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tech Billionaire Peter Thiel Drops Out of SXSW Panel on Gawker Controversy

Peter Thiel is no longer scheduled to appear at SXSW 2018 to talk about his secret funding of lawsuits that led to the bankruptcy of Gawker Media.

Thiel had been scheduled to appear at the Austin, Texas, conference on March 10 in a discussion with writer and media strategist Ryan Holiday, author of the forthcoming book “Conspiracy” about Thiel’s involvement in taking down Gawker.

A rep for SXSW confirmed that Thiel “has dropped from SXSW, but we have no further information at this time.”

In 2016, Thiel was revealed to have funded wrestler Hulk Hogan’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit and two other suits against Gawker Media, which led to Gawker’s filing for bankruptcy and the sale of most of its assets to Univision Communications. Thiel, who said in a speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention that “I’m proud to be gay,” remained upset about a 2007 Gawker article that reported he was gay.

Thiel was Silicon Valley’s biggest booster of Donald Trump, having donated $1.25 million to Trump’s presidential campaign. Since Trump’s takeover of the White House, however, he has reportedly become disenchanted with the administration.

Thiel first amassed his wealth as co-founder of PayPal, which eBay acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002. He co-founded Palantir Technologies, a data-analytics and antifraud software company valued at $20 billion, in which he owns a significant stake.

Thiel’s Founders Fund is leading a $15 million investment round in viral hit trivia game HQ Trivia, according to a Recode report earlier this month.

Here’s the original description of the SXSW talk, titled “Conspiracy?! Peter Thiel with Author Ryan Holiday,” that Thiel had previously agreed to participate in:

“Peter Thiel orchestrated a nearly decade long conspiracy that culminated in the bankruptcy and closure of Gawker. It was a process that involved Hulk Hogan, the FBI, the First and Fourth Amendments and eventually, the next President of the United States. Author Ryan Holiday’s forthcoming book Conspiracy examines the case that rocked the media world. Join Holiday as he interviews Peter Thiel to discuss the takedown of Gawker while answering why he set it all in motion, how he did it and most importantly, what does it mean for privacy? For culture? For the future of the free press? In this lively discussion, Holiday and Thiel will discuss power, strategy, and one of the most devious secret plots in recent memory.”

More Biz

  • David Lubliner Moves to UTA From

    Veteran WME Agent David Lubliner to Join UTA

    William Morris Endeavor agent David Lubliner is departing the company for a post at United Talent Agency, individuals familiar with the move told Variety. The parting of ways was amicable, the insiders added. Lubliner was a veteran in WME’s motion picture literary department. Rumors of his exit had been floating since Hollywood reopened for the new [...]

  • Bruce Tufeld Dead: Hollywood Agent and

    Hollywood Agent and Manager Bruce Tufeld Dies at 66

    Bruce Tufeld, a Hollywood agent and manager who once repped stars like Rob Lowe, Laura Dern, and Kelsey Grammer, died Tuesday in Los Angeles as a result of complications from liver cancer. He was 66. The son of respected television announcer Richard “Dick” Tufeld and Adrienne Tufeld, Bruce began his career as an assistant at ICM [...]

  • R Kelly protest

    Protesters Rally Outside Sony Music Headquarters, Demand the Company Drop R. Kelly

    Standing in the cold with megaphones outside of Sony Music’s New York headquarters, a group of activists delivered the company, parent of Kelly’s longtime label RCA, a petition signed by over 217,000 people demanding that the singer be dropped from the label. The rally comes less than a week after a plane carrying a banner [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Fake Washington Post

    Fake Editions of Washington Post Distributed in D.C.

    The Washington Post was forced to issue a statement on Wednesday morning after commuters were handed fake print copies of the newspaper with a headline claiming President Donald Trump had fled the White House. “There are fake print editions of The Washington Post being distributed around downtown DC, and we are aware of a website [...]

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. The record level of spending [...]

  • Sinclair Enters Streaming Arena With Local

    Sinclair Enters Streaming Arena With Entertainment Bundle and Local Channels

    Sinclair Broadcast Group is diving into the increasingly crowded streaming platform arena with the launch today of Stirr, a free OTT entertainment bundle offering local news and general entertainment, sports and lifestyle channels. Sinclair aims to leverage the near-national reach of its sprawling station group with its strong local presence in markets across the country [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content