Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Inga Parkel

HBO chief apologises for using fake Twitter profiles to troll critics

Getty Images for Vox Media

HBO CEO Casey Bloys has admitted to creating “secret” fake Twitter (now rebranded as X) accounts to troll critics whose reviews he took issue with.

Bloys’s actions came to light in a new bombshell report from Rolling Stone published on Wednesday (1 November).

“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, via 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 explained on Thursday (2 November).

Further elaborating, Bloys said: “Obviously, six tweets over a year and a half is not very effective. But I do apologise to the people who were mentioned in the leaked email, texts. Obviously, nobody wants to be part of a story that they had nothing to do it.

“But as also, as many of you know, I have progressed over the past couple of years and using DM so now when I take issue with something in review, or take issue with something I see I DM many of you and many of you are gracious enough to engage with me back and forth.”

Bloys’s leaked messages are all part of a greater wrongful termination lawsuit filed in July by ex-HBO executive assistant Sully Temori against HBO’s senior vice president of drama programming Kathleen McCaffrey and HBO’s head of drama Francesca Orsi.

Casey Bloys
— (Getty Images for Vox Media)

Identified as John Doe in the legal documents, Temori alleges he was harassed over his disability and sexual orientation, according to Rolling Stone.

The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), along with two other producers of HBO’s critically panned drama The Idol, are also named in the lawsuit and are accused of bullying Temori.

HBO responded to the harassment allegations in a statement to the outlet, but did not deny Temori’s claims that Bloys directed him, through McCaffrey, to create “secret” fake Twitter accounts to post from with the main purpose of trolling high-profile entertainment critics.

“HBO intends to vigorously defend against Mr Temori’s allegations,” a spokesperson said. “We are not going to comment on select exchanges between programmers and errant tweets.”

While Bloys is not among the parties being sued, his messages are meant to exemplify the “very petty” company culture Tempori is disputing.

In one of the text exchanges reviewed by Rolling Stone, McCaffrey allegedly told Temori that Bloys was “obsessed with Twitter” and “always wants to pick a fight” with users.

In one exchange, Temori was allegedly asked to reply to Rolling Stone’s chief TV critic Alan Sepinwall’s 2.5-star review of Joss Whedon’s sci-fi drama The Nevers.

“[Bloys] mad at Alan Sepinwall,” McCaffrey allegedly texted Temori. “Can our secret operative please tweet at Alan’s review: ‘Alan is always predictably safe and scared in his opinions.’”

The Independent has contacted HBO for additional comment.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.