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HBO Executives Accused of Using Fake Accounts to Troll Critics

Ashley Waithira



Recent reports suggest that HBO executives, including its Chairman and CEO of HBO and Max Content, Casey Bloys, used unusual tactics to deal with negative reviews of their shows. According to an article in Rolling Stone, starting in 2020, Bloys allegedly directed staffers to create fake Twitter (currently known as X) accounts to post snarky responses to critics.

Shows Targeted

The criticism targeted several HBO series, such as:

  • The Joss Wheedon steampunk fantasy,
  • The Nevers The Mare of Easttown
  • The Perry Mason reboot
  • Run

Notably, The Nevers received quite a harsh review from Rolling Stone critic Alan Sepinwall, which seemingly sparked this series of events.

Internal Text Messages Reveal the Plan

Text exchanges between Bloys and Kathleen McCaffrey, HBO’s senior vice president of drama programming, surfaced, detailing their plans to combat critics. On one occasion, McCaffrey messaged an HBO staffer, stating, “Casey is looking for a tweeter… can our secret operative please tweet at Alan’s review: ‘Alan is always predictably safe and scared in his opinions.’ And then we have to delete this chain right?”

Interestingly, some of these contentious tweets remain accessible to the public.

Whistleblower Speaks Up

Sully Temori, a former HBO staffer, provided these internal texts to Rolling Stone. Temori is currently involved in a wrongful termination lawsuit against various HBO members. The suit reveals that he was allegedly requested to engage in unrelated tasks to his main job responsibilities, such as setting up fake online accounts to reply to critics.

Details of the Alleged Fake Accounts

Rolling Stone reports on several instances of alleged false accounts interacting with critics. For instance, a Twitter account under the name “Kelly Shepard” responded to Alan Sepinwall’s negative critique of “The Nevers,” with words that closely mirrored the earlier text exchanges between HBO executives. Moreover, the profile picture of “Kelly Shepard” appears to be a stock photo used on several business sites.

This fake account did not stop there. It also responded aggressively to other critics and even replied to Sepinwall again following his mixed review of “Mare of Easttown.” Beyond Twitter, anonymous accounts allegedly defended the HBO series from negative remarks in the Deadline comment section.

HBO’s Response and Upcoming Q&A Session

An internal source at HBO communicated that there’s no internal concern regarding these tweets or comments. Casey Bloys is set to address the Rolling Stone article in an upcoming Q&A session where HBO will present its 2024 content slate. However, due to the ongoing litigation, details related to the lawsuit will be off-limits during this discussion.

Further Allegations from Temori

The revelations regarding the fake Twitter accounts are part of a broader lawsuit by Temori, who claims:

  • Harassment and discrimination after disclosing a mental health diagnosis.
  • Being tasked with unrelated duties, such as looking after rescue kittens in HBO’s office.
  • Sexual harassment is based on his sexual orientation.

Furthermore, the lawsuit suggests that after Temori disclosed his mental health status, he faced mockery and harassment from some HBO members, which subsequently led to his termination.

The Implications for HBO

The unfolding drama between Temori and HBO has garnered significant media attention and has raised various concerns in the entertainment industry. With social media platforms becoming increasingly influential in shaping the public perception of TV shows and films, the temptation for companies and individuals to manipulate these platforms is evident.

Public Reaction

The reaction on social media has been mixed. While some express shock and disappointment at HBO’s alleged tactics, others have pointed out that in an age where companies employ sophisticated marketing and PR strategies, the line between genuine feedback and orchestrated campaigns can be blurred.

HBO’s Stance on the Matter

In response to the allegations, HBO released a statement: “HBO intends to vigorously defend against Mr. Temori’s allegations. We are not going to comment on select exchanges between programmers and errant tweets. 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.”


These allegations shed light on the pressures and intricacies within the entertainment industry and how companies react to criticism. As the lawsuit unfolds, more clarity will hopefully emerge regarding these claims and HBO’s response.

Ashley is a creative and adventurous Journalism graduate with a vibrant personality. Her love for exploring new places fuels her passion for travelling, allowing her to uncover captivating stories and diverse cultures. With a kind and fun-loving nature, she radiates positivity and enjoys connecting with people from all walks of life. Ashley's belief in a supreme being serves as a moral compass, guiding her to always strive for what is right and just. In her spare time, she immerses herself in the pages of books, seeking inspiration and expanding her knowledge. Ashley's zest for life and unwavering dedication to her values make her remarkable.