HBO CEO Finds “Healthier” Way to Engage with Critics After Sock Puppet Scandal
• HBO chairman and CEO Casey Bloys has ditched his tactic of using fake social media accounts to harass critics in favor of direct messages.
• Bloys admitted to the use of sock-puppet accounts during a press event, apologizing for his actions.
• The lawsuit accuses HBO of fostering an environment that promotes harassment and discrimination.
• Bloys aims to have meaningful conversations with critics, emphasizing respect in the process.
• The scandal is a reminder that no one is exempt from accountability for their actions, and highlights the need for a positive atmosphere in the entertainment industry.
HBO chairman and CEO Casey Bloys recently revealed that he has abandoned his previous tactic of using fake social media accounts to harass critics. Instead, he now chooses to confront them directly through direct messages (DMs).
During a presentation of HBO and Max’s upcoming slate for the press in New York, Bloys explained his new approach. “If I have an issue with a review or something else I see, I DM many of you,” he stated. “Many of you are kind enough to engage in a conversation, and I believe that is a much healthier way to handle this.”
The revelation comes just one day after Rolling Stone uncovered a lawsuit accusing Bloys of using sock-puppet accounts to attack critics who had written negatively about HBO’s programming. The lawsuit also alleges that Bloys and Kathleen McCaffrey, HBO’s senior vice president of drama programming, discussed and executed their social media scheme through private text messages.
Although HBO has declined to comment on specific exchanges, Rolling Stone authenticated the messages referenced in the lawsuit. Furthermore, Bloys admitted to his past actions during the press event, acknowledging their ineffectiveness and apologizing to those targeted.
The incident has shed light on a larger issue within HBO’s work culture, according to attorney Michael Martinez, who represents the former HBO employee who filed the lawsuit. Martinez claims that the company’s environment fosters ongoing harassment and discrimination.
Moving forward, Bloys hopes to engage in meaningful conversations with critics to better understand their perspectives. He recognizes the importance of their opinions while also acknowledging the need for a more respectful approach.
This scandal serves as a reminder that even powerful executives are not immune from the consequences of their actions, and it highlights the importance of creating a positive and inclusive work environment within the entertainment industry.