Casey Bloys Is Wrong To Deflect Anti-Trans Comments

Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO, HBO & Max Content, speaks onstage during a Warner Bros. Discovery Streaming Press Event at Warner Bros. Studios on April 12, 2023 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for HBO)

Casey Bloys is wrong to deflect anti-trans comments when asked about JK Rowling’s involvement in a new Harry Potter series for MAX.

I don’t know how many times that I have to keep repeating myself. At this point, anything that Warner Bros. Discovery decides to do with its social media during Pride month will be nothing more than performative allyship. The fact that Casey Bloys just shrugged off concerns is disappointing in and of itself. That Bloys himself is a member of the LGBTQ community just really takes the disappointment to the next level. Is the WBD relationship with J.K. Rowling really that much more important than being on the right side of history? If this had been the 1980s, would Bloys have hypothetically shrugged off Roald Dahl’s antisemitism? I’d like to think not.

I was offline for the final two days of Passover. While I was offline, Warner Bros. Discovery decided to drop the HBO Max name for no reason whatsoever. If you’re going to change the HBO Max branding, why not change it to Warner Max? It keeps the Warner name in the streaming service. Oh, well. Nobody bothered with seeking my opinion but calling a service Max is just tacky and that’s another article for another day. As I was saying, catching up on all the WBD news on Thursday night was exhausting but also depressing. The following comments come by way of Deadline‘s reporting on the Max unveiling.

Asked about attracting talent given Rowling’s anti-trans comments, Bloys outright refused to answer. He took the cowardly way out.

“I don’t have a comment on that today.”

It gets worse from here on out.

“No, I don’t think this is the forum [to discuss that],” he said. “That’s a very online conversation, obviously very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into.”

Sorry but this was the correct forum to discuss it. This was the forum for an openly gay man to not shrug off concerns especially when transphobic bigotry is sweeping the nation. It is not “very nuanced and complicated” as Bloys suggests. It’s hard to trust cisgender gay men when they keep giving trans women and trans men a reason not to trust them. Listen, I’ve been talked over by cis gay men when it came to pointing out why some films are harmful for the trans community. Some were willing to learn and educate themselves while others decided to not see why they were in the wrong. Bloys had an opportunity to place himself on the right side of history and decided to take the cowardly way out. It’s not “a very online conversation” when WBD is putting money in the hands of a transphobic bigot.

Casey Bloys might say that the studio’s priority is what’s taking place on screen but it completely ignores the fact that they should be distancing themselves from a franchise that refuses to die. There are many other franchise out there that do not support hatred. Why is it so hard to support a franchise that isn’t created by a bigot? Percy Jackson is right there–thank you Rick Riordan for being an ally! It makes me want to think twice about keeping my HBO Max subscription as I cannot in good conscience support this program. I definitely will not watch it and I know a growing number of cisgender allies to the trans community that have moved on because of Rowling’s comments. Why WBD refuses to move on is beyond me.

To any actors, directors, or showrunners that consider working on this series, those of us in the transgender community will not forget it. Our cisgender allies will not forget it. If you call yourself an ally, working on this series will only tell us that your allyship is performative. J.K Rowling is executive producing this series, which is supposedly going to run for ten seasons. This is way too many seasons for anyone to be supporting transphobia.

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.