HBO And MAX CEO Casey Bloys Admits And Apologizes For Using Troll Army To Target Critics

Casey Bloys via Banff World Media Festival

HBO and Max CEO Casey Bloys admitted and apologized for using a troll army of fake social media accounts to target critics of HBO and Max programs.

Casey Bloys via Variety YouTube

Rolling Stone’s Cheyenne Roundtree reported earlier this week that Bloys coordinated with Kathleen McCaffrey and employee Sully Temori to target critics of HBO and Max programs. Specifically she claimed that Bloys and McCaffrey discussed “what they called a ‘secret army.'”

Specifically Bloys would cook up responses to critics and pass them along to McCaffrey who then instructed Temori to use fake accounts to respond to various critics. He also attempted to weaponize identity politics to target many of the critics. One of the fake accounts created by Temori was Kelly Shepherd.

Troll account Kelly Shepherd created by Sully Temori using identity politics to criticize James Poniewozik on Twitter

RELATED: Report: HBO And Max Executives Created Army Of Troll Accounts To Target Critics Of Their Movies And Television Shows, Weaponized Identity Politics

The report came about following a lawsuit filed by Temori that accuses HBO of harassing and retaliating against him after he disclosed a mental health diagnosis.

In the lawsuit Temori alleges he created “fake online accounts to respond to critics.” The report noted accounts targeted critics critical of Joss Whedon’s The Nevers, Mare of Easttown, and Perry Mason.

Matthew Rhy as Perry Mason in Perry Mason Season 2 Episode 8 (HBO), 2023

Bloys admitted that he did indeed deploy the troll army during an HBO presentation at the company’s headquarters in New York.

Variety reports Bloys stated, “For those of you who know me, you know that I am a programming executive very, very passionate about the shows that we decide to do. And the people who do them and the people who work on them.”

He continued, “I want the shows to be great. I want people to love them. I want you all to love them. It’s very important to me what you all think of the shows. When you think about that, and then think of 2020 and 2021, I’m working from home and doing an unhealthy amount of scrolling through Twitter. And I come up with a very, very dumb idea to vent my frustration.”

HBO CEO Casey Bloys via Parrot Analytics YouTube

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“Obviously, six tweets over a year and a half is not very effective,” he said. “But I do apologize to the people who were mentioned in the leaked emails, 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. 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. 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,” he concluded.

Chairman and CEO of HBO and Max Content Casey Bloys via Variety YouTube

What do you make of Bloys’ confession and apology?

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