The CEO and chairman of American pay television network Home Box Office (HBO), Casey Bloys, issued an apology for allegedly instructing employees to create fake Twitter accounts to target TV critics.
The initial Rolling Stone report provided details about an incident in 2022, which centred around Kathryn VanArendonk, a TV critic for Vulture.
His response came following a controversial report by Rolling Stone that cited purported text messages between Bloys and Kathleen McCaffrey, HBO's senior vice-president of drama programming.
The exchanges suggested discussions about establishing a "secret army" to respond to TV critics who provided negative reviews of HBO shows.
During a presentation on HBO and Max's upcoming programming, Bloys addressed the allegations.
“For those of you who know me, you know that I am a programming executive very, very passionate about the shows that we decide to do.” he said, according to Variety. “And the people who do them and the people who work on them. 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. When you think about that, and then think of 2020 and 2021, I’m working from home and doing an unhealthy amount of scrolling through Twitter. And I come up with a very, very dumb idea to vent my frustration.”
He admitted that the six tweets posted over an 18-month period were "not very effective" but extended apologies to anyone involved.
Bloys acknowledged that nobody wanted to be inadvertently embroiled in such a story.