HBO’s new programming chief was “visibly caught off guard” by a question at the cable net’s Television Critics Association presentation over the weekend — even though the subject is one that has been coming up a lot lately for the pay-cabler.
Vox.com reports that Casey Bloys responded initially with “uncomfortable silence” after NPR’s Linda Holmes posed a question about sexualized violence toward women during Saturday’s Q&A.
The question of whether HBO relies too heavily on the plot device arose during a discussion about the dark procedural “The Night Of,” which Vox notes features frequent images of a naked woman’s corpse, and the upcoming “Westworld,” which includes a rape scene in its pilot.
Vox notes that Bloys’ apparent lack of preparation for the question comes as a surprise when HBO has been fending off challenges to its depictions of rape in “Game of Thrones” for some time.
“After some uncomfortable silence, Bloys said that he considers the violence on HBO to be ‘not specific to women’ and ‘indiscriminate,'” Vox reports, adding that in response to a follow-up question about whether the same level of sexualized violence will be perpetrated against male characters on “Game of Thrones,” “Bloys referenced one character’s castration before ending his answer with a joke: ‘We’re going to kill everybody.'”
Pressed on the subject, Bloys later conceded that “the criticism is valid.”