Lawsuit Alleges HBO Execs Created Online 'Secret Army' to Target Critics of Movies, TV Shows

Nick Kangadis | November 3, 2023
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It’s not TV. It’s HB-trOll. (See what I did there?)

According to a report by Rolling Stone, HBO and Max executives developed an online troll army to target critics of their movies and TV shows.

The actions of HBO CEO and chairman Casey Bloys and HBO senior vice president of drama programming Kathleen McCaffrey came to light because of a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former HBO staffer Sully Temori, which was filed in July.

Rolling Stone reported the following concerning the troll army targeting critics:

The lawsuit alleges Temori — who joined HBO in 2015, working as a temp until becoming an executive assistant in 2017, then working on The Idol in August 2021 until he was laid off in October 2021 — was harassed and faced retaliation and discrimination after disclosing a mental health diagnosis to his bosses. He also was allegedly asked to perform menial tasks not related to his work duties, such as creating fake online accounts to respond to critics. In a response to Temori’s lawsuit, lawyers for HBO requested a judge dismiss the complaint, and said HBO denies “each and every allegation.” In a statement to Rolling Stone, HBO said it “intends to vigorously defend against Mr. Temori’s allegations. 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.”

Related: HBO’s ‘Sex and the City’ Reboot Promotes Grooming as Moms Openly Lust After Teen Boy

If the allegations are true, which Rolling Stone says that “HBO did not dispute the legitimacy of the messages,” it looks like another case of projection by people who’ve failed at their chosen profession.

Hollywood studios like to blame the fans for their lack of decent writing and acting within their programming. They’ll say that the fans will attempt to ratio reviews by giving movies that they don’t agree with bad ratings. But, it doesn’t make sense when the critics also believe that a specific movie or TV show is garbage.

Temori reportedly revealed text messages between himself and the brass at HBO.

McCaffrey had come to Temori to create the fake accounts in June 2020, explaining Bloys was “obsessed with Twitter” and “always wants to pick a fight on Twitter,” according to the messages. “He always texts me asking me to find friends to reply … is there a way to create a dummy account that can’t be traced to us to do his bidding,” McCaffrey asked, before passing off Bloys’ missives to Temori several more times.

[Temori’s attorney Michael] Martinez says Temori created a fake Twitter account to comply with his bosses’ requests, and “like many young employees starting out on their career, it was very important to Sully to not only perform at a high level, but to seek opportunities where he could showcase his acumen and build credibility for the possibility of creating long-term success at HBO and esteem from his higher-ups.”

The question that needs to be asked by the average person is, ‘If all these establishment entities — whether they’re part of government, the entertainment industry or corporations — are constantly lying to us, why do we continue to give them our tax dollars or business?’

What’s real and what isn’t has become much easier to detect with the advance of technological methods of discovery, but it has also become much more difficult because of the sheer volume of intentional misinformation by the very people that cry about misinformation themselves.

H/T: Bounding Into Comics

 

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