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Movies and Television

How Should HBO Respond to ‘Game of Thrones’ Controversy?

Game_of_Thrones_title_screen.png.CROP.promo-mediumlargeSince Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” aired, the internet has been abuzz with controversy over a decidedly disturbing scene that played out very differently in the show than it did in the books; what was written as an instance of consensual (yet creepy) sex played out on screen as an incredibly difficult-to-watch depiction of rape.

While many fans were angry that a character endowed with his own (strange) brand of honor had been re-written as capable of committing such a heinous, unforgivable act against a person he loves — and some wondered why the showrunners felt the need to make an already-disturbing scene so much more violent — all of this this would normally be a question of artistic license and therefore not discussed on a PR blog.

However, comments made by the show’s director Alex Graves have — if unintentionally — shifted the discussion from a touchy one about creative decision-making to a deeply serious one about our culture’s struggle with the definition and recognition of what rape actually is.

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Oxygen’s New Lineup Is Tailored for the Young, Multicultural Female Viewer

chasing mariaOxygen, a network that has always geared its programming towards female viewers, is now going to zero in even more closely on the millennial, multicultural woman with new shows that include a nail art competition, Nail’d It!, that will culminate in a $100,000 prize; Sisterhood of Hip Hop, a reality show revolving around five female hip hop artists in the making; and Living Different, a show that will focus on women living “alternative” lifestyles.

At the network’s upfront, Frances Berwick, president of Bravo and Oxygen Media, said, “African-American and Hispanic and Asian-American and white” women are longing to see themselves better “reflected” on television. This lineup seeks to fulfill that viewer wish.

But more than that, Oxygen is trying to make a statement about its brand. Unlike other reality shows — like those on Vh1 and the shows that are part of the Real Housewives franchise — these shows focus on a more positive outlook on female relationships. So we should expect a lot less shrieking, backstabbing, and finger pointing for a change of pace.

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Brands, Political Interests Tweeted the ‘Mad Men’ Premiere With Varying Degrees of Success

petco mad menSo how good was it to see Mad Men back on the screen? And Neve Campbell for that matter?

Knowing that this was going to take over Sunday night television, brands went all out in their attempts to get clever on Twitter for the premiere. We’ll start with the strange: Petco, the pet supply store, got in on the action with tweet above. Glad Men? More like:

confused dog

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WATCH: Netflix Goes to Prom, Proves Being a ‘Third Wheel’ Can be Epic

Call me old fashioned, but there’s just something totally un-romantic about propositioning a potential prom date via Twitter. That is, unless you’re courting a major company, not a classmate.

Seventeen-year-old Muthana Sweis, a student at Marist High School in Chicago, sent out the following tweet in January:

Hey @netflix if this gets 1,000 retweets will you go to my junior prom with me?— Muthana Sweis (@muthanasweis) January 30, 2014

In an appropriately-gushing response, Netflix accepted, tweeting:

We said yes! We’re third wheeling to #Prom2014 with @muthanasweis and his date: https://t.co/0AQKYrljxj— Netflix US (@netflix) March 28, 2014

So how exactly does Netlix “third wheel” it to prom? Well, for one thing, by providing some serious wheels.

Sweis got to choose between a few different TV-themed rides, and ended up selecting a classic ’50s Buick from “Grease” and a chauffeur dressed as John Travolta’s character, Danny. Oh, and for good measure, he also got wear a James Bond-esque tux. Read more

Stephen Colbert Is Your New David Letterman

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So there’ll be no need to #CancelColbert after all.

When we first heard that Colbert was among those in consideration for Letterman’s role, we didn’t think it would work. But then he’s come a long way since “Even Stevphen“, hasn’t he? Also: love Neil Patrick Harris, but all those awards shows would be lonely if he took over.

Now will Colbert be as gracious to guests as Letterman was?

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15 Brands That Made the Most of the ‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere

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Didn’t you guys jump the shark last month?

There was a show on the teevee last night. You might have heard something about it. And no, it wasn’t ‘Veep.’

As you may have guessed, last night’s Season 4 ‘GoT’ premier provided every brand’s copywriting team with an angle too tempting to resist.

Here are some of the many, many accounts capitalizing on the cultural event.

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STUDY: TV Viewers Aren’t All That Social

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No, we’re not talking about the Twitter deluge bemoaning last night’s HBO GO failure. (But please, no Game of Thrones premier spoilers. We fell asleep waiting for it to load.)

Despite all the talk of social media as a new way to measure success on TV, the vast majority of viewers don’t use social while watching–and most of those who do aren’t watching very closely.

Yet two competing studies on the topic show us that the future of the medium is-surprise–hardly set in stone.

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Stephen Colbert Responds to #CancelColbert Controversy As Only He Can

So, in case you missed it, The Colbert Report made fun of somebody via Twitter, and it became a threefold lesson in PR.

The tweet in question poked fun at the the owner of the controversially-named Washington Redskins, Daniel Snyder, after his ham-handed attempt at shedding positive light on the decidedly non-PC team name by announcing the creation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.

The tweet read, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

In context, it’s a hilarious parody that successfully illuminates Snyder’s poorly-executed attempt at cultural sensitivity; but taken out of context, the statement could obviously be viewed as, well, culturally insensitive.

Therein lay the problem. Read more

Yesterday, NBC’s ‘Today’ Had an Awkward April Fool’s Joke

today-show-prankICYMI: The cast of NBC’s ‘Today Show’ tried to break out the funny on April Fool’s Day. More specifically, newly blushing soon-to-be bride Savannah Guthrie and her executive producer.

As in, on live television. And that’s when the #TVFail awkward moment happened for all of us to enjoy.

Guthrie concocted a sinister plot to trick her co-hosts into eating Oreo cookies. HAHA! I mean, funny, right? Only (sorry, have to wipe these tears of laughter from my cheeks), instead of the gooey Oreo cream that blocks your arteries … wooooo, hilarious … she had them filled with, with … my gut hurts … with toothpaste.

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THIS JUST IN: ‘Office Space’ Actor Just Lost His Flair

THIS JUST IN 2Does the name Todd Duffey ring a bell?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. He’s a blogger and a bit actor. Still nothing? I got it. What about that brown nosing troll with 37 pieces of flair in the classic movie ‘Office Space.’

OH YEAH! That guy. 

Well, “Brian” as he is known to all of us who live in PR cube farms, isn’t collecting the checks like he used to do, so he considered another way to make a quick buck.

So, he sued 20th Century Fox. Wait, what?

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