How intense is the pressure of being CEO of HBO? You’re constantly calling Kim Cattrall, enduring the other execs at Craig’s passive aggressively asking how “Max” is going, and ever since his show ended, dealing with John Wilson filming outside your house. But the worst part of the job is that TV critics can just say whatever they want, like it’s a college campus before 2010. So who can blame the HBO head for carving out a few hours of his day to seek revenge on those critics?
But it all fell apart Nov. 1, when Rolling Stone revealed that six tweets mocking TV critics who wrote negative reviews about HBO shows were actually composed at the direction of Max CEO Casey Bloys under fake names. Most were posted by the account @KellySh33889356, who was “Kelly Shepherd,” a blond “Mom. Texan. Herbalist” who wears a tasteful black striped button down shirt and follows Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Black Lives Matter, Kerry Washington and, oddly, Elon Musk. (Bloys conceded Nov. 2 that this was a “very dumb idea” he acted on during cooped up COVID times.)
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But aren’t all the studio heads likely getting their assistants to do the same thing? I scoured Twitter (errr, X), gave up, and then lazily made up tweets that I suspected came from other CEOs:
Bio: 13-year-old e-sports enthusiast, comic book reader, Austin, TX
Thank you, Warner Bros Discovery Inc., for helping me navigate a content-flooded marketplace & shelving Coyote Vs. Acme. A $30M Q3 tax write-off is the right move for the bus-drivers and teachers who hold WBD in their pensions. Also: me & my buds have heard rad things about the 2024 WB slate and are stoked about it.
Identity: David Zaslav
U.S. Army Veteran, Puppy Fosterer, Ft. Knox
“A mess,” David Denby? That’s strange, because me & the guys love John Carter. Serge & Captain & Private Joe & me seen it three times. We pretend we’re Taylor Kitsch jumping high & performing feats of strength. What’s a making America “a mess” is effete has-beens like you who hate America.
Identity: Disney CEO Bob Iger
@Pierre Pepin Pasard
Pastry chef, 6th arrondissement
“C’est du gâteau est l’émission la plus stupide de la télévision?” Non, Misseur James Poniewozik, you are the plus stupide critic de la New York Times. I have watched 18 hours of Is It Cake in a row, without the aid of any marijuana, and it is magnifique. Sacre blue!
Identity: Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos
Into working out, space travel, & … shopping!
No, Darren Franich, it’s not true that “Tolkien’s saga was anti-industrialization, which makes it hilarious that Rings of Power is an Amazon product.” What’s hilarious is that no one will be able to order Entertainment Weekly ever again, once I, @JeffTheWizard, mess with the algorithm.
Identity: Jeff Bezos
Agricultural worker with an acute interest in sports and beer, Peoria, Illinois
To Rachel Cooke of the New Statesman who wrote “Who’s it for, this show?” about our beloved All Creatures Great & Small, I answer with a full-throated, “’Tis for me, James Jameson, agricultural worker with an acute interest in sports and beer!” Good day, Ms. Cooke. I said, “Good day.”
Identity: PBS CEO Paula Kerger
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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