10:05pm PT by THR staff
John Oliver Slams HBO's New Owner AT&T Over "Dogs— Customer Service Hotline"
John Oliver took a jab at HBO's new owners on Sunday night's installment of Last Week Tonight.
On his weekly HBO late-night show, the host opened up by addressing the criminal trial of Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign manager, and then segueing into a critique of the criminal justice system. He delved into how prosecutors are ultimately the ones who decide if a case gets prosecuted, and of those, nearly 95 percent result in the defendant pleading guilty, avoiding trial.
He cut to a 2004 Frontline clip where a judge claimed that if every case went to trial, "the system would entirely collapse."
"Exactly, it's an inadequate system that only functions if people constantly give up," Oliver said. "It's built on the exact same model as AT&T's customer service hotline. That's right. AT&T: new owners of HBO, longtime owners of an unforgivably dogshit customer service hotline."
HBO parent company Time Warner is poised for an $85 billion merger with AT&T. John Stankey, the longtime AT&T executive and new head of Warner Media, who is charged with overseeing the network following the completion of the merger, said that the network's employees face "a tough year" ahead at a recent corporate town hall meeting.
Stankey told the staffers that big changes were to come: "I suspect if we're in a situation where we’re going to be investing heavier, that means that there's going to be more work for all of you to do — and you're going to be working a little bit harder," he said, as quoted by The New York Times.
No word on whether he addressed his own company's customer service practices.