HBO Wants You to 'Reserve Judgment' About That Controversial Slave Drama, 'Confederate'

The forthcoming 'Confederate' series has been met with backlash since its announcement earlier this month.

Image via Bago Games

Sunday brought us a new episode of Twin Peaks, as well as the latest installment of little-known experimental comedy Game of Thrones. During the Thrones airing on HBO, the hashtag #NoConfederate reminded everyone that the Thrones showrunners' next project—a series tentatively titled Confederate—certainly sounds like a bad idea on paper.

On 5/15/1916, an all-white jury convicted Jesse Washington of murdering a white woman. He was burned alive in front of 15K. #NoConfederate

— April (@ReignOfApril) July 31, 2017

Make this show instead. Many don't know Black Wall Street even existed; this would be thoughtful and interesting. I'd watch #NoConfederate

— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 31, 2017

The April Reign-launched hashtag ultimately hit No. 2 on Twitter's global trending topics ranking. In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter Sunday night, HBO asked everyone to "reserve judgment" until more information on the show is released. "We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate," the network said. "We have faith that [writers] Nichelle, Dan, David, and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity. The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see."

For anyone who missed HBO's initial Confederate announcement earlier this month, here's the CliffsNotes version: The series from Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss centers on an "alternate timeline" in which the southern states have seceded from the Union and slavery is legal and "has evolved into a modern institution."

The series announcement was met with immediate pushback, prompting a swift response from Benioff and Weiss. In an interview with Vulture, the two explained that the series will see "the four of us arguing about everything," including writers Malcolm Spellman and Nichelle Spellman. "They had this script, the movie version, but they felt taking it to TV would be better," Michael added. "And they knew they needed black voices on it. There was already a comfort level between all of us. I feel like me and Nichelle, both separately, have a great pedigree — her particularly — and so it made sense."

Production on Confederate is currently expected to begin following the final Thrones season.

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