‘I came up with a very, very dumb idea to vent my frustration’
Casey Bloys, the CEO of HBO, has apologized for using fake social-media profiles to respond to negative reviews of the network’s series.
Bloys spoke out Thursday after a report from Rolling Stone exposed his past behavior on Twitter the day before.
“For those of you who know me, you know that I am a programming executive, very, very passionate about the shows that we decided to do, and the people who do them and the people who work on them, I want the shows to be great,” Bloys said at a presentation of the network’s 2024 content calendar, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“So when you think of that mindset, and then think of 2020 and 2021, I’m home working from home, spending an unhealthy amount of time scrolling through Twitter. And I came up with a very, very dumb idea to vent my frustration.”
He continued, “Obviously, six tweets over a year and a half is not very effective. But I do apologize to the people who were mentioned in the leaked emails [and] texts.
“Obviously, nobody wants to be part of a story that they have nothing to do with. But also, as many of you know, I have progressed over the past couple of years to using DMs.”
Don’t miss: There’s a ton worth streaming in November 2023. So as prices rise, here’s how to avoid breaking the bank.
“So now, when I take issue with something in a review or take issue with something I see, many of you are gracious enough to engage with me in a back-and-forth, and I think that is a probably a much healthier way to go about this,” Bloys added.
“But we’ll talk more about that, and you guys can ask me anything you want in the Q&A. I just wanted to put that out there.”
The HBO head’s remarks follow Rolling Stone’s report detailing a lawsuit brought against the executive and HBO by former employee Sully Temori, who claims to have been wrongfully terminated.
The outlet referenced several alleged texts from 2020 and 2021 between Bloys and HBO’s senior vice president of drama programming, Kathleen McCaffrey.
In the alleged messages, Bloys and McCaffrey repeatedly discussed replying to critics who spoke negatively about HBO series, including “Perry Mason” and “Mare of Easttown,” by using fake accounts on Twitter, now known as X.
The alleged texts, provided by Temori, were reportedly reviewed and verified via metadata.
Temori alleges that he was told to make an account for these purposes, and gave the profile a fake name of Kelly Shepard and an identity as a vegan mom from Texas.
He further went on to respond to critics of HBO shows on the platform.
In a statement, HBO, a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), did not deny the social-media controversy and said it plans to defend itself in Temori’s lawsuit.
“HBO intends to vigorously defend against Mr. Temori’s allegations,” a spokesperson told the outlet. “We are not going to comment on select exchanges between programmers and errant tweets.”
“We look forward to a full and fair resolution of this dispute. In the meantime, we wish Mr. Temori, a former HBO employee, well in his future endeavors,” the statement concluded.
A version of this report appeared at NYPost.com.
More media and entertainment news:
Disney officially plans to buy remaining Hulu stake from Comcast
World Series was the least-watched Fall Classic in TV history
The ‘Barbenheimer’ buzz may be over, but consumer enthusiasm for movies is still strong, says Cinemark CEO
Disney, Warner Bros. shares rise as part of broad rally in streaming stocks
This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.