Earlier this week, a Rolling Stone report revealed that HBO CEO Casey Bloys, set up fake Twitter accounts to troll critics who negatively reviewed shows he championed at the network. With the help of an HBO staffer who’s now suing the company and alleging wrongful termination, Bloys authored and authorized a handful of insults to be sent to top critics on social media, and random dissidents in the comments section of trade publication articles. The tweets were attributed to Kelly Shepard, a “Texas mom and herbalist” that Bloys had the staffer invent for the purpose.
But now that the world knows that one of the more powerful decision-makers in Hollywood has no chill, he’s coming clean about his trolling habits and he’s blaming them on Covid times. During a recent HBO presentation, Bloys apologized to the critics he targeted, claiming he was simply too passionate about the shows he was producing at the time.
“Those of you who know me 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,” Bloys said via Variety. “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. So when you think about 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 come up with a very, very dumb idea to vent my frustration.”
Boys has now, oddly, found a less problematic way of dealing with negative reviews: directly DM-ing critics.
“Now if I take issue with something in a review or something I see, I DM many of you,” he told the room full of reporters. “I think that is probably a much healthier way to go about this.”