So, this is an issue that has bothered me long before this previous week. But with the Game of Thrones hack…well, I just felt the need to post this. I’m not expecting you to understand or agree with my opinion. I’m just asking for you to hear me out.
For those of you who don’t know, this week HBO experienced another leak. This isn’t the first, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. After all, Game of Thrones is one of the most pirated shows ever created. And this week proved to be more of the same. A few days ago, the fourth episode of Season 7 of HBO’s hit fantasy show was leaked onto the internet. The episode, which aired tonight, was not only available for everyone, but available days before the episode was officially released.
A lot of people freaked out, and I get it. I count down the days, hours even, looking forward to Sunday nights. Even though I know those nights will bring tireless hours of recapping and theorizing, I love every second. I love the show. And I love supporting it. And that’s why I chose not to watch the episode until tonight, live on HBO.
I am not here to judge. If you watched the leaked version, I am not here to lecture you. You do you. All I’m asking is that you grant me the same respect.
I guess I find it kind of ridiculous that I’m considered the weird one for not watching the stolen version. It boggles my mind. Somehow, my decision is considered wrong. When I tell people that I refuse to watch pirated versions of things, they look at me as if I’m speaking another language. And usually they follow with the same argument I’ve heard a million times.
“It doesn’t actually affect anything.”
“Why watch something later when you can watch it now?”
“Why pay for something you can get for free?”
“It’s not like they actually pay attention to views anymore.”
“They’re a big cooperation, why do they deserve our money!?”
As I always try to be, I’m going to be honest with you. I’m under my parents’ plan. Which means that the money isn’t actually coming out of my pocket. Some of you will stop reading at this point. But please, hear me out.
If my parents asked me to start paying for HBO tomorrow, I would do it. I have offered in the past, but…well, I’m very grateful. They’re happy to help me save my money in anyway they can. But if they asked me to, I would pay for it. Maybe you don’t understand that. And that’s okay. Let me tell you why I would. Let me tell you why I refuse to watch leaked episodes.
I’m an artist. Sometimes it feels pretentious saying that, but I am. I’m a writer. The words on this page are mine. And if someone took that from me, even if they never claimed it was their own, simply posted it on their own site…well, it would be pretty aggravating. The stories I’ve written, the films I’ve made, what if the same happened to those? I would be distraught, frustrated…angry.
I’m not doing this for the big cooperation, but yes, I do have immense respect for HBO. I think their shows are incredible, and I haven’t even seen a lot of them yet. They produce quality TV. But I’m not doing it for them. I’m doing it for the artists. The writers who work hard to get this show made. The stars and extras who work tirelessly day in and day out to tell this amazing story. For the crew, many of which we don’t know the names of, but who work hard despite this. And who the show wouldn’t be possible without.
Maybe some of them wouldn’t care. Maybe they’d think I was crazy too, for not watching the leaked version. I don’t know. And I don’t know why some people watch the leaked episodes. Maybe it’s because they can’t afford HBO. I get that. Minimum wage doesn’t exactly allow for extras. Or maybe it’s because they want to stick it to the man. Maybe it’s because they can’t wait any longer to see what happens next. I don’t pretend to know. And like I said, I’m not here to judge, either. I’m simply here to ask not to be judged for my choice.
Maybe you’re reading this and wondering what the big deal is. If that’s the case, I apologize for wasting your time. I guess I just wanted to share my reasoning behind my decision, and why I’m so passionate about it. Maybe you feel the exact same way! Either way, feel free to share your opinions in the comments. But, as always, I ask that you keep it civil. This is a safe space, let’s keep it that way.