MyPillow’s $1.6 billion lawsuit against Dominion says it’s using ‘cancel culture’ to silence critics

Mike Lindell Donald Trump
Donald J. Trump and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in March 2020.

  • MyPillow’s new $1.6 billion lawsuit against Dominion says it’s participating in “cancel culture.”
  • MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has pushed false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
  • The new lawsuit says Dominion’s own, previous lawsuit is an attempt to stifle free speech.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In a lawsuit seeking $1.6 billion in damages, MyPillow claims Dominion Voting Systems is trying to stifle unproven allegations of voter manipulation by “using today’s cancel culture” to sue people pushing conspiracy theories about its technology.

“Dominion’s purpose is to silence debate; to eliminate any challenge to the 2020 presidential election; and to cancel and destroy anyone who speaks out against Dominion’s work on behalf of the government in administering the election,” the lawsuit against the election technology company says.

The lawsuit, announced by MyPillow’s pro-Trump CEO Mike Lindell, acts as a countersuit to a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit Dominion filed against the pillow company in February.

In its own lawsuit, Dominion pointed to Lindell’s promotion of false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and Dominion’s role in it. Lindell, like former President Donald Trump, falsely alleged that the 2020 presidential election was marred by widespread voter fraud and claimed that Dominion was responsible for covering it up.

Dominion’s lawsuit alleged Lindell used those false theories to juice his company’s profits by integrating his pillow advertising into the right-wing media ecosystem.

Lindell told Insider at the time that MyPillow in fact lost $65 million in deals with retailers, which he held up as evidence that he truly believes his own theories about the election.

“Those stores combined did $65 million in business last year,” Lindell said. “And now I won’t have them this year, or any year. They’re done.”

MyPillow says Dominion is trying to cancel its critics

Dominion – along with rival election technology company Smartmatic, which was named in false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election as well – has sued the likes of Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Fox News. Dominion also sent more than 100 additional letters threatening litigation to people who pushed false theories about the company.

MyPillow’s lawsuit brings up Dominion’s litigation against Powell and Giuliani as examples of the company using “lawfare” to “cancel” and “intimidate” others. The lawsuit gives the example of an actuary who was “forced to self-censor” after Dominion mailed him a box “full of legal papers, which included lawsuits filed against other citizens along with a threatening demand letter.” A photograph of the pile of documents Clare Locke, the law firm representing Dominion, apparently sent to the anonymous actuary is included.

MyPillow dominion legal letters
MyPillow’s lawsuit includes a photo of a pile of paper Dominion’s lawyers sent to someone.

The MyPillow lawsuit compared Dominion’s “scorched earth campaign” to the McCarthy era, where people associated with communism were expelled from public life in the US and lost their livelihoods.

“So too today, those who, like MyPillow are merely associated with a critic of Dominion and the integrity of the 2020 election, face expulsion from public life in large parts of America,” the lawsuit says. “Dominion is using today’s cancel culture to eliminate dissent and to cover up the election issues that compromised the 2020 result.”

The definition of “cancel culture” can be contentious, but it generally refers to withdrawing support for those who espouse objectionable views.

As examples of cancelation, the lawsuit points to the fact that numerous retailers have stopped selling MyPillow products – a boycott that began after a pro-Trump mob overran the US Capitol over the election conspiracy theories – and because one radio station ended its advertising relationship with the company. The lawsuit also says that individual MyPillow employees have experienced harassment.

Dominion’s lawsuit discusses the harassment its own employees have faced over election conspiracy theories. One executive, Eric Coomer, went into hiding in November following death threats from Trump supporters.

Stephen Shackelford, an attorney for Dominion, told Insider’s Grace Dean that MyPillow’s lawsuit had no merit.

“This is a meritless retaliatory lawsuit, filed by MyPillow to try to distract from the harm it caused to Dominion,” Shackelford said.

Read the original article on Business Insider