×
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

  • Stephen Colbert Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks 'Seinfeld,' 'Sexist' Environment at 'SNL' in Q&A With Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert and Julia Louis-Dreyfus swapped stories about “Saturday Night Live,” Northwestern University, “Seinfeld” and the possibility of running for office during a Q&A held Saturday as part of Montclair Film Festival’s annual “Evening with Stephen Colbert” fundraiser. Colbert, a Montclair resident, has long been a booster of the festival, which is going into its [...]

  • 2019 Kennedy Center Honoree singer Linda

    Linda Ronstadt to Mike Pompeo: Stop 'Enabling' Donald Trump

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Linda Ronstadt, one of this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees, had sharp words for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday night during a State Department reception for the Kennedy Center kudos. Ronstadt and Pompeo faced off in the U.S. State Department’s ornate diplomatic greeting rooms at the traditional event that precedes Sunday’s [...]

  • pharrell brain child show

    'Blurred Lines' Flares Up Again - Marvin Gaye Family Claims Pharrell Perjured Himself

    Like a zombie that just won’t stay dead, the “Blurred Lines” case keeps coming back. While the 2015 verdict, in which Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and the song’s publisher were ordered to pay nearly $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s family for infringing upon the late singer’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up,” was basically [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA-Agency Showdown: Role of Showrunners at Heart of Legal Arguments

    The Los Angeles courtroom of U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte was packed with well-dressed lawyers on Friday morning, eager to watch a high-stakes brawl between Hollywood’s largest talent agencies and the Writers Guild of America. Birotte allowed only four lawyers from each side to sit at each table, leaving the vast majority of the attorneys [...]

  • 700700 + Ted Turner Dedication. December

    Ted Turner Tributes Established With WarnerMedia Gift to University of Georgia

    WarnerMedia has established a scholarship, internship program and exhibition hall at the University of Georgia to be named after maverick media mogul Ted Turner. The company has gifted $550,000 to the university to create the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund, for students attending the school’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is also the [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Judge Leans Toward Agencies' Position in Writers Guild Antitrust Suit

    A federal judge indicated on Friday that he will allow the three major agencies to pursue their antitrust lawsuit against the Writers Guild of America. The WGA has urged U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte to throw out the suit, arguing that its actions in its ongoing battle with the agencies are protected under antitrust law. [...]

  • Keli LeeStep Up Women Network 9th

    Keli Lee Exits ABC Studios International as Disney Considers Division's Fate (EXCLUSIVE)

    ABC veteran Keli Lee has left the international arm of ABC Studios as Disney considers the future of the London-based content unit, Variety has learned. Sources said Disney has told the creative community that there “has been a re-evaluation of ABC Studios International” and that it is re-assessing “the creative direction” of the business. There [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content