Confederate (TV series)
Confederate is an upcoming American television and alternate history drama series set in a timeline where the American Civil war ended in a stalemate. David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are developing the series for the network HBO. The two previously developed the HBO series Game of Thrones.
|Country of origin||United States|
Confederate chronicles events leading to the "Third American Civil War". It takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of 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.
Conception and developmentEdit
On July 19, 2017, David Benioff announced that he and D. B. Weiss would begin production on a new HBO series, titled Confederate, after the final season of Game of Thrones (late 2018 or early 2019). Benioff and Weiss said, "We have discussed Confederate for years, originally as a concept for a feature film... But our experience on Thrones has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO." Joining as executive producers will be Nichelle Tramble Spellman, Malcolm Spellman, Carolyn Strauss and Bernadette Caulfield. The series will be written by Benioff, Weiss, Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman.
Reactions and controversyEdit
Upon announcement, Confederate received backlash on Twitter over its featuring a modern-day Confederate States of America in which slavery is legal. April Reign, who created #OscarsSoWhite, created #NoConfederate, which became the number one trending topic during the airing of an episode of Game of Thrones. Jake Nevis of The Guardian was concerned the show would act as wish fulfillment for white supremacists. He also cited the lack of diversity on Game of Thrones as a foundation for their concerns.
Weiss and Benioff with executive producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman, both of whom are African American, defended the show in an interview with Vulture.com in which they asked critics to defer judgment until the show airs. At the Television Critics Association press tour, HBO President Casey Bloys acknowledged that the announcement of the show was poorly executed, but stood behind the decision to green-light the show.
After the neo-Nazi protest and anti-Nazi counter-protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017, KJ Whittaker worried that Confederate could fan the flames of hate groups in America today. HBO representatives responded to these concerns on August 15 with a statement to The New York Times:
"HBO has a long history of championing intelligent storytelling and we will approach this project with the same level of thoughtfulness that has always defined our programming. We recognize the sensitivity of this project and will treat it with the respect that it deserves. Our creative partners should be given time to develop the series rather than face prejudgment."
- Petski, Denise (July 19, 2017). "'Game of Thrones' Creators Reteam with HBO on 'Confederate' Alt-History Drama Series". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
- HBO PR (2017-07-19). "HBO Announces Confederate, a New Drama Series Created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss". Medium. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
- Hibberd, James (July 19, 2017). "Game of Thrones showrunners reveal their next epic HBO series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
- Nevins, Jake (August 1, 2017). "Confederate: will a grassroots movement sink the controversial HBO series?". The Guardian. Kings Place, London, England. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- Adalian, Josef (July 20, 2017). "The Producers of HBO’s Confederate Respond to the Backlash and Explain Why They Wanted to Tell This Story". "Vulture" web site. New York. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
- Chavez, Danette (July 26, 2017). "HBO president: Confederate announcement was a blunder, but show is worth the risk". The A.V. Club. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- "I fear HBO’s Confederate could be a flag waver for today’s neo-Nazis". The Guardian. August 21, 2017. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Bell, Gabriel (August 15, 2017). "After Charlottesville, HBO doubles down on “Confederate”". Salon. Retrieved August 21, 2017.