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HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Blood Donation Contest is Being Called Discriminatory Against Gay, Bi Men

Wednesday Mar 13, 2019

HBO is working with the American Red Cross for a "Game of Thrones" contest that excludes gay and bisexual men with some calling the initiative discriminatory.

The Daily Beast is reporting that the network's "Bleed for the Throne" contests encourages "Game of Thrones" fans to donate blood to the American Red Cross. It's a promotion for the massively popular TV show's final season airing next month while supporting a good cause. Those who donate before March 12 will get a limited edition "Game of Thrones" t-shirt and be entered to win a trip to the season premiere in New York City.

But according to FDA rules, gay and bisexual men cannot take part in the contest. The FDA says men must abstain from having sex with other men for a year before donating blood — that also pertains to women who are sleeping with sexually active men who also sleep with 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 Daily Beast writes.

A "Game of Thrones" fan spoke with the publication about the contest.

"It's kind of a bummer," Erich Hazen told The Daily Beast. "Here's this really great prize, but you can't have it because you're gay."

HBO is hosting a "Game of Thrones" experience at South by South West this weekend in order to launch the contest. The Daily Beast reached out to HBO and the Red Cross for a comment and in a joint statement said the contest is open to those who cannot donate blood and are willing to wait in a standby line. Those who cannot donate blood are able to enter the contest by contacting the Red Cross Donor Support Center.

"These alternative means of entry were not included in press materials and social media posts," The Daily Beast writes. "Representatives for both HBO and the Red Cross refused to say where, if at all, they publicized the non-donor options."

Check out the full report by The Daily Beast by clicking here.


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