Warner Bros. Discovery Thinks Fandom/HBO Max Is for the Boys | The Mary Sue
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Warner Bros. Discovery Thinks Fandom/HBO Max Is for the Boys

Leslie Knope says she's very angry on NBC's Parks and Recreation.

Few things get my blood boiling in the way that labeling fandom or “nerdy” things with a gender does. On one hand, it erases the non-binary fans of things, and on the other hand, it is an outdated way of looking at nerddom. Men were often the ones labeled as fans of things like Star Wars and comics despite it continually being proven untrue, but it seems as if the outdated views have continued on with the merger for Warner Bros. Discovery.

At the Warner Bros. Discovery Second Quarter 2022 Earnings Call that happened on August 4, they showed some slides of their hopes for the future, their “adjustments” (including the shelving of Batgirl) and then they showed what both HBO Max and Discovery+ coming together into one platform means for them as a company.

While they could have simply focused on their content and how it varies between genres and programming, they decided to take it one step further by saying that HBO Max has a “male skew” and that it is the “Home of ‘Fandoms'” vs. Discovery+’s “female skew” while being the “Home of ‘Genredoms.'”

You know, HBO Max is for the boys only.

How do you even track that data?

Sure, there might be some sort of data that gives them an idea of who’s watching what on the platform, but outside of that, my gender is not attached to my profile on our HBO Max account. How would they know who is watching it from my profile? Or does it just connect back to the name of the person paying for it? Because if that’s the case, then your data is flawed right out the gate.

And again, labeling it this way is also erasing non-binary fans in the conversation. Are they just not on their radar? Or does their data just connect to what someone making a PowerPoint thought was the case?

Smells like sexism

The problem with this way of thinking is that the HBO Max bullet points go on to label the platform as more “scripted” shows and that they are “lean in” programs, vs. the Discovery+ content, which is reality television and “comfort viewing,” so, boiled down, it comes across as saying that men love to think with their television and women do not.

It feels like something some older executive would say in a meeting in some comedy show about how television is made, and we’d all laugh at how blatantly sexist he is.

Again, sure, maybe they have some kind of data behind it, but the minute you start to think about it past just “Whose name is on the service?” then you slowly start to realize that this is nearly impossible to track. So, it seems more likely that they got this idea based on the “content” that is on the streaming platform and that makes the sexist nature of this slide even worse.

It’s a childish labeling of the love of “fandom,” and it’s outdated. On top of that, it just doesn’t feel like there’s any truth to this? Is this because they think that men are more likely to watch superhero shows? What is this? 1955????

(featured image: NBC)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.