NBC Universal, the Directors Guild of America, HBO and The New York Times, among others are concerned that journalist privilege and the work of the media companies are in jeopardy if Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s decision concerning Joe Berlinger’s footage from Crude goes through. Kaplan ruled that oil company Chevron could subpoena Berlinger to hand over more than 600 hours of footage from the film. The energy company is embroiled in a legal battle with representatives for indigenous Ecuadorians who allege that Texaco (now owned by Chevron) polluted their water, and maintains there is material within the footage that is relevant to its case. Thirteen media companies have filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Berlinger.
- RS West ’18