Twitter Drags HBO’s Planned ‘Confederate’ Series, Producers Respond: ‘The Concern Is Real’
HBO has produced some fantastic dramas over the years, including iconic television series like The Sopranos, The Wire and their current hit Game of Thrones. But the cable giant is receiving a ton of backlash from Black Twitter following a press release announcing a new series from the GoT creators.
The TV project is called Confederate and according to the press release, it will depict what would happen if the South won the American Civil War. It will be set in modern times in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. It adds, “the story follows several different characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone -- freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.’’
Reactions on Twitter are mixed with people demanding HBO to not produce the show, while others felt the backlash is premature. Critics argue that slavery shouldn’t be trivialized for the sake of entertainment. Others complain that Hollywood should stop making projects about the slave narrative altogether.
The Game of Thrones showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have not commented on the social media outrage. However, two black producers, Nichelle and Malcolm Spellman, who are executive producing Confederate, have addressed the backlash.
In an interview with Vulture, Nichelle and Malcolm Spellman expected that people would be upset by the premise of the series, but they feel the backlash is premature since it's based off a press release. Not a single frame has been shot for the show as of yet and the producers feel the criticism should begin when the series actually premieres, which is expected to be in 2018.
Nichelle and Malcolm didn't divulge the show's storyline but they did add that the entire nation is not under modern-day slavery. "This is not a world in which the entire country is enslaved," explained Malcolm. "Slavery is in one-half of the country. And the North is the North...the imagery should be no whips and no plantations."
"I do understand their concern," added Michelle. "I wish their concern had been reserved to the night of the premiere, on HBO, on a Sunday night, when they watched and then they made a decision after they watched an hour of television as to whether or not we succeeded in what we set out to do. The concern is real. What I’ve done in the past, what Malcolm has done in the past, what the D.B.s have done in the past, proves that. So I would have loved an opportunity for the conversation to start once the show was on the air."
You can read the full interview with the Confederate producers at Vulture. Check out the polarizing Twitter reactions below.