Originally published at Death and Taxes, ed. Brian Abrams, 16 March 2016.
Grateful thanks to the Internet Archive for preserving this work.
Hulk Hogan’s suit against Gawker Media is very nakedly about money. Hogan needs money, there can be no doubt of that. At 62, he can’t get back in the ring to wrestle; despite his charisma as a performer, he hasn’t made it as an actor, either — possibly because his acting is excruciating. I say this with authority, because I have watched not only several episodes of “Hogan Knows Best,” but also Suburban Commando and No Holds Barred. The latter film is wildly entertaining, I hasten to add. Don’t miss the scene where Hogan, as famed wrestler Rip, takes a date to a fancy French restaurant, where he impresses her by speaking French to a waiter. (“Wee! Jay fam!”)
I kid, but I also feel sorry for the guy. He’s washed up in so many ways. Last July, audio surfaced in public of Hogan making racist remarks, such as “fucking niggers” and “I guess we’re all a little racist,” at which point World Wrestling Entertainment (“WWE”) terminated its contract with the star. Worse, the organization scrubbed every reference of Hogan from its websites, removing him from its “Hall of Fame” and all the links to purchase Hogan videos and other materials. WWE also issued a public statement disavowing any connection with Hogan and stating its support for diversity.
This must represent a really hard blow to Hogan’s income, especially since the demise of his TV show. On the plus side, according to IMDb, he’s “rumored” to be taking a part in Expendables 4.
As has been widely reported, the suit seeks $100 million in damages. This is a patently outlandish sum; even Hogan’s experts estimated the “value” of the tape to Gawker at $15 million. Gawker’s expert testified that Gawker had made perhaps $11,000 from the Daulerio essay which excerpted the video. So somewhere between those two figures, plus damages.