HBO has a new docuseries coming out that includes the story of WeWork and its controversial founder Adam Neumann called “Generation Hustle.” The series is about “The lengths young people will go to for fame, fortune, and power.” But the ad campaign for it had to be changed after complaints were made by Adam Neumann.
Thomas A. Clare, defamation attorney for Neumann, revealed that HBO and Innovation Films have retracted “key elements” of their “Generation Hustle” series that he described as falsely characterizing WeWork founder Adam Neumann.
In 2019, Neumann was forced out of WeWork, the company which he founded in 2010. After a meteoric rise the entrepreneur was brought down after allegations of serious drug use and sexual improprieties were made. WeWork was forced to deal with sexual harassment suits. It delayed its planned IPO and laid off many workers.
And Neumann reportedly walked away with a $1.7 billion deal.
Clare said that the series, as it stood to be aired, gave the “false impression that Neumann has ever been implicated in any legal misconduct.” He said that the episode featuring Neumann has been updated to state clearly that “no criminal or regulatory charges have been filed.”
“HBO did the right thing here by promptly retracting these false implications about Adam and the history of WeWork, and we applaud the network for taking these responsible steps,” Clare said. “The media has repeatedly gotten the story of Adam wrong, and we hope these responsible steps by a reputable outlet will help put an end to the mischaracterizations of Adam’s successful role in creating a transformational business.”
He also pointed out that Bloomberg, Forbes, and Business Insider have all agreed to make similar changes to characterizations of Adam Neumann in their reporting.
It remains to be seen if an upcoming drama series about Adam Neumann will face similar complaints. Jared Leto is set to play Neumann in a new mini-series for Apple television. His fellow Oscar winner Anne Hathaway is also cast in the new show titled “WeCrashed.” Leto and Neumann are about the same age and Leto certainly looks the part.
The series will be based on the hit podcast WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork. The limited series was created and written by Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello.