HBO is upping its recreation relating to the psychological well being of its viewers, with pre-episode content material warnings that present them with hyperlinks to psychological well being assist companies – notably if the TV present in query depicts doubtlessly triggering content material.
Known as “bumpers”, the onscreen slides are to be launched earlier than episodes of TV reveals akin to The Sopranos, Women, Barry, and Euphoria, as a part of an inside initiative to interrupt down stigma round psychological well being – presumably each for dwell broadcasts on HBO’s TV channel and its HBO Now on-line platform (by way of Selection).
HBO’s VP of name and product advertising, Jason Mulderig, says that “HBO has all the time been on the forefront of telling tales that includes complicated characters, a few of whom take care of psychological sickness, from The Sopranos to Euphoria, encouraging extra dialog across the totally different aspects of psychological well being.”
Mulderig provides: “We aren’t saying ‘viewer discretion is suggested.’ We’re saying ‘viewer dialog is inspired.'”
It’s additionally a neat nod to World Psychological Well being Day – October 10, and in the present day on the time of writing – a time when folks the world over are inspired to talk and share their experiences and struggles with psychological sickness.
Why is that this important?
Whereas it’s a standard sight to see set off warnings / content material notices prematurely of a TV present or film, they often act as a heads up for what will likely be depicted within the present, slightly than offering data on the way to deal with related circumstances and diseases in actual life.
These warnings are additionally often left to scores boards just like the Movement Image Affiliation of America (MPAA) or British Board of Movie Classification (BBFC), with extra nuanced data being right down to the manufacturing studio itself – such because the content material warnings launched for 13 Causes Why, a yr after the present first landed, or the disclaimer firstly of Netflix’s new present, The Politician, “for many who battle with their psychological well being” (in picture beneath). Proactive motion by HBO itself, for both TV broadcasts or on demand streaming, wasn’t a given.
Whereas no broadcaster or content material supplier ought to draw back from troublesome themes – and whereas these of us scuffling with psychological sickness actually need our experiences represented – it’s straightforward to make use of psychological sickness as a method of upping dramatic stakes with out excited about the way it impacts (or displays) the lives of viewers.
A small change, to make sure – nevertheless it’s heartening to see HBO take into consideration the effectively being of its person base.