'Walking Dead' Producer Criticizes 'Dangerous Thinking' of Tolerating Online Piracy

2012-35 BKLOT Gale Ann Hurd P

"I would be a fan of the show even if I wasn't making it, so I think I can relate to the fans," says Hurd of her rapport with "The Walking Dead'" audience.

Days after "Game of Thrones" hit a high in illegal downloads, producer Gale Anne Hurd presses for search engines to do more to "filter out" piracy sites.

The Game of Thrones finale episode brought in 7.1 million viewers to HBO on Sunday. But, within the next day, more than 1.5 million people downloaded a pirated version of the episode, according to TorrentFreak's calculations

But while Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has been cautious with statements about piracy, the executive producer of AMC's Walking Dead is more concerned. In an interview with The Guardian a day after Thrones set a new piracy record, producer Gale Anne Hurd pressed for search engines to do more to "filter out" piracy sites. 

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The newspaper's Mark Sweeney asked Hurd what she made of Bewkes' comment during an August 2013 conference call where the Time Warner exec stated that if Thrones was the most pirated shows in the world it's "better than an Emmy."

"I think that's really dangerous thinking," Hurd said. "We are poised on the precipice of filmed entertainment ... because of the prevalence of piracy. The content creators will not get a revenue stream to the point that they won't be able to continue to create. And that's the danger of people embracing piracy." 

Hurd noted that the Walking Dead also routinely ranks among the top pirated shows. According to TorrentFreak, the number of those pirating episodes of Game of Thrones will reach 7.5 million within days.