Netflix threatened by Brexit funder Arron Banks over The Great Hack documentary

Ellie Harrison

Netflix has been issued a legal threat by billionaire Brexit funder Arron Banks, who has concerns about “false and defamatory allegations” in its forthcoming documentary The Great Hack.

The film is made by Oscar-nominated The Square duo Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer and delves into the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal that exposed how millions of people’s personal data had been collected from Facebook without their consent.

Journalist Carole Cadwalladr, who was central to the investigation and detailed how the data had been used by pro-Brexit campaigners in targeted marketing in the lead up to 2016’s EU referendum, is interviewed in the documentary.

Banks was one of the biggest financial backers of the pro-Brexit campaign Leave.EU. He reportedly had not seen The Great Hack before issuing the legal threat.

According to The Observer, London law firm Kingsley Napley – acting on behalf of Banks, his company Eldon Insurance and Leave.EU – sent a letter to Netflix dated 16 July claiming that their clients were concerned over “false and defamatory allegations” made by Cadwalladr and others in the film.

The lawyers also reportedly demanded to see any allegations made in the film and be given a chance to respond, warning Netflix that they would rely on any failure to meet their demands in any future legal proceedings.

“We have received a letter from Arron Banks’s solicitors, which we have responded to, making clear that we stand by the contents of the film and will vigorously defend against any claim,” The Great Hack co-director Amer told The Observer.

“We find it ridiculous that Arron Banks and his solicitors would issue such a letter without having seen the actual film. We would invite Mr Banks to watch the film when it premieres worldwide on Netflix on 24 July.”