HBO is using Pride Month to host a variety of virtual events on its newly launched “Human By Orientation” platform.
The television network recently repurposed its famous acronym to represent the LGBTQ community, creating a website with the new name where fans can now go to attend virtual Pride events. Beginning June 18 fans can check out more than a dozen free events hosted by HBO, including performances by Toddrick Hall and Janelle Monáe, “Drag Queen Story Hour”, and a comedy showcase with comedian Carmen Esposito. Each event will highlight an LGBTQ-focused charity, such as the National Black Justice Coalition and the Audre Lorde Project. The Human By Orientation website lists all of the organizations participating in HBO’s Pride 2020, as well as ways fans can get involved or donate to the cause. By launching its own Pride platform, HBO could create a “one-stop-shop” way for viewers to attend events, get involved, and learn about the charities benefitting from its initiative, according to a Gartner report on the topic.
HBO has a history of celebrating Pride Month, though it typically sponsors floats for the NYC Pride Parade. As this year’s in-person parades were canceled during the Coronavirus pandemic, the brand took its support in a virtual direction. In addition to celebrating LGBTQ communities, HBO is also highlighting the Black Lives Matter movement on its Pride platform, uniting its support for both communities during a contentious time in the U.S. The support follows its public encouragement of Black Lives Matter on Twitter, where it pledged to donate to the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. HBO is also spotlighting “LGBTQ+ Stories” and “Celebrating Black Voices” on its network, giving fans community-centered collections of programming to watch during the month.
HBO created a fully digital space for fans to celebrate Pride month amidst canceled in-person events. By launching a dedicated platform with a dual focus on Pride and Black Lives Matter, the network could engage a wider audience keen to support, while encouraging new consumers to join the HBO community.