"Game of Thrones" may have placed itself in a different red wedding situation.
As part of its new "Bleed for the Throne" promotional sweepstakes, the notorious bloody hit HBO is asking viewers to open a vein to prove their fandom passion – but some call the game homophobic.
From Thursday at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, HBO is working with the American Red Cross to man blood transfer stations during the fest from 7 to 9 March. Plus, fans across the country will be able to donate blood on special trips in 43 states and nine schools until 12 March.
All donors are eligible for the first prize: a trip to the world premiere of the eighth and last season of the show, which will premiere on April 24th. At SXSW, fans can also participate in a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience, "And those who donate before the deadline of March 12 receive a" Bleed for the Throne "T-shirt in limited edition.
However, a significant proportion of fans are excluded: gay and bisexual men. According to the requirements of the Red Cross, men who have sex with other men must wait 12 months for contact before they are eligible to give blood.
"Apple's bold letters to give my gay ass an ad for blood donation" a Twitter user wrote when spotting a commercial for the match on his phone.
"Although cool for GoT fans, [here’s] a reminder that this whole initiative and the competition discriminates against gay men and bi men, who are still forbidden to donate blood for foolish, discriminatory reasons, " another tweeted to the official "Game of Thrones" and American Red Cross Twitter accounts.
From 1983 to 2015, men engaged in sexual intercourse were not at all eligible to donate blood, a strict policy that began during the AIDS crisis, reports The Daily Beast. Although the restrictions have recently been weakened, many still see the policy as dated and rooted in fear rather than in science.
HBO and the Red Cross said that those who can not donate can still participate in the contest by contacting the Red Cross Donor Supply Center. However, this information has not been published together with other race information, according to TDB.