HBO has teamed up with the Red Cross for a Game of Thrones contest. The winner of the “Bleed for the Throne” contest will travel to New York City to attend the finale series premiere. To enter, one must present to donate blood. But if you’re a gay or bisexual man who can’t donate blood, you’ve got to follow an obscure set of unpublicized rules if you want to enter.
As the Daily Beast notes, ‘The FDA mandates men abstain from sex with other men for 12 months before donating blood. The same withdrawal period goes for women sleeping with sexually active bisexual men. By partnering with the Red Cross on what’s marketed as their largest ever blood donation promotional effort by an entertainment company, HBO’s contest on paper effectively discriminates against gay men.”
“The partnership will include an immersive experience at SXSW from March 7–9, in addition to blood drives in 43 states and 9 colleges and universities across the U.S. from March 7–12,” HBO writes in a press release.
When called out by the publication, HBO presented alternate ways to enter for gay and bisexual men, none of which were mentioned in press and promotional materials.
The Daily Beast reports: ‘When The Daily Beast reached out for comment, HBO and the Red Cross issued a joint statement saying Bleed for the Throne at SXSW is open to those who cannot donate blood willing to wait in a standby line. For the national blood drive, those who can’t donate are able to enter the sweepstakes by contacting the Red Cross Donor Support Center. These alternative means of entry were not included in press materials and social media posts. Representatives for both HBO and the Red Cross refused to say where, if at all, they publicized the non-donor options.’