PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — After a popular Netflix docu-series accused Bay County Commissioner Tommy Hamm of wage theft, he’s firing back.
Hamm is suing media giant Netflix and eight others after the docu-series “Immigration Nation” was released last year. The lawsuit, filed Thursday, contends that the series spread false information about him and his private company to millions of Americans. He’s suing them in excess of 30 thousand dollars in damages.
“These workers are being exploited, no doubt” Hamm said in an interview with News 13 in August of last year. “They’re being exploited by Netflix for subscriptions.”
The docu-series alleges that Hamm’s private company, Winterfell Construction, didn’t pay immigrant workers for work they had done. The 100-page lawsuit states that not only were the allegations made against Hamm false but that the filmmakers knew they were false when they released the docu-series. Since thenn, the lawsuit states Hamm has received death threats and there’s been a push over social media to “cancel” the commissioner.
The lawsuit claims that the defendants were aware that the workers in question were employed by someone other than Hamm. It says Winterfell Construction tried to help the workers get their money from the subcontractor who may not have paid them, but was refused any names or relevant information from the defendants accusing Hamm.
In August, when we interviewed now defendant Saket Soni, Executive Director of the Resilience Force representing those workers in the docuseries, he said “we’re not going to provide them with a list of names so that he can go after them.”
The lawsuit states Hamm has suffered emotional distress and humiliation as a result of the allegations, and he and his company have both suffered significant damage to their reputations.
In a statement on Friday, his attorneys said:
“Tommy Hamm took legal action to protect his family, his business, and himself against what the lawsuit explains is a fabricated story the public has been misled into believing to be true. The complaint lays out in detail what happened to Tommy and Winterfell and why they believe those to blame should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions.”
“It’s total defamation,” Hamm said in August. “It’s fabrication and they’re using it to profit off it.” said Commissioner Hamm.
We have reached out to both Netflix and Soni for a comment on the matter. We have yet to receive a response from either.