HBO’s announcement of the development of a new show titled “Confederate” has been generating controversy that doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. The show, which will begin shooting after the final season of “Game of Thrones” wraps, is based on an alternate version of history where the South won the Civil War and slavery remains as a national institution. The show is to be anchored by GOT producers D.B Weiss and David Beinhoff, along with their frequent collaborators Nichelle and Malcolm Spellman.
During last weekend’s airing of GOT, a social media protest took place, spearheaded by the creator of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, April Reign. Social media users, who are against the idea of the show, gained attention using the #NoConfederate hashtag on social media to protest it. This forced HBO to release the following statement;
“We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around ‘Confederate’. 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.”
HBO attempted to dissuade protestors from judging the show prior to its creation. Despite the sensitive nature of the subject, the company sought to clarify that they don’t intend to offend anyone. HBO’s President Casey Bloys had earlier called the decision to announce “Confederate” prematurely, as “misguided.” In hindsight, he said the company should not yet have made the announcement.
The racially charged political atmosphere has ensured that “Confederate,” which is still in its infancy, has divided potential viewers. In this era of Black Lives Matter and racial mistrust, it comes as no surprise that the idea of “Confederate” feels demeaning to many.
However, with the success of shows based on alternate versions of history and sensitive topics such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Man in the High Castle,” it’s possible this wouldn’t be a bad time to make such a controversial show. Not only could it be profitable for the network, but it also has the potential to really promote some radical ideas and perspectives. It could even, potentially fill the void left with the cancellation of “Underground.” Viewers who are undecided on the show will be waiting and hoping that the network delivers something solid.
No official date has been released for the airing of the show.
– Afolabi Ashiru