HBO CEO and Chairman Chief Casey Bloys has confirmed he used fake Twitter accounts in an attempt to sway reviewers who wrote negative reviews about HBO TV shows.
The short of it is that Bloys blew a head gasket when he read negative reviews about various HBO shows so he ordered an underling at the network to create fake Twitter accounts and respond to the reviewers.
Thursday morning at a presentation, Bloys apologized and confirmed he used the fake Twitter accounts. You can read that at Deadline, but it’s not like this is anything new.
Everybody does it
As I went over on Twitter yesterday, a friend of a friend type of thing worked at Warner Bros. years ago who I knew used to do this sort of thing for DC.
I was told they would react to various negative fan sentiments online and would even ghostwrite reaction articles in an attempt to get fans to change their mind and side with the studio.
This is how I got my Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor info for Batman vs. Superman. It’s also how I scooped that Mercy Graves was in Batman vs. Superman and hence that Wonder Woman will also be in the flick.
This happened around the end of Breaking Bad, as I was told the series finale was going to happen and they were going to capitalize on all the insane hype at the time by announcing Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor. Rolling Stone picked up on my article and the news went viral.
I got wind of it all when the friend of a friend casually teased, “Maybe he will make Mercy say his name.”
A lightbulb went off as I watched Breaking Bad (say my name) and I knew they were casting for Lex Luthor and of course, Mercy is Mercy Graves, Lex’s Amazonian bodyguard from Superman the Animated Series.
I then inquired if that meant Bryan Cranston was cast as Lex, and I was told, yes. I then knew Wonder Woman would be in Batman vs Superman, even though they tried to play it off as she wasn’t.
Obviously, the Bryan Cranson as Lex thing didn’t happen, but looking back, damn what could have been… What could have been…
Interestingly enough, they cast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex, and Cranston in Breaking Bad went by Heisenberg… I think they might have been playing me all along.
In regards to everybody doing it, there was that Man of Steel FB fan page years ago that was run by a PR company, all the popular Reddits are controlled by studios and run by the same mods, IMDb opens up its ratings before TV shows air (I haven’t checked movies), of course, there was that Rotten Tomatoes fiasco with Captain Marvel, and the head of RT used to be a Disney employee. Also don’t forget all the Snyder Cut Twitter bots. Oh and that MCU book also said James Gunn was leaking info to the fanboy media.
A lot of the bigger entertainment sites also work directly with the studios and sites like Deadline, THR, and Variety are all owned by one entity. Sites like Screen Rant, CBR, and Collider, are, too.