David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, two of the showrunners behind HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, came under fire this week after announcing their new HBO drama: a series that imagines a world in which the South won the Civil War and slavery has evolved into a modern day institution.
The plot of “Confederate” drew the ire of many a social media maverick, causing the showrunners to fire back in an interview with Vulture on Thursday.
“‘Confederate’, in all of our minds, will be an alternative-history show,” Weiss told Vulture. “It’s an ugly and a painful history, but we all think this is a reason to talk about it, not a reason to run from it. And this feels like a potentially valuable way to talk about it.”
Weiss and Benioff also confirmed that nary a single word of the script had been written yet but that everything — every detail of the plot, the characters, the lines — would be conceived of with the help of two black writers, Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“The Good Wife”) and Malcolm Spellman (“Empire”). And both are very excited about the undertaking.
Malcolm Spellman told Vulture, “For me and Nichelle, it’s deeply personal because we are the offspring of this history. We deal with it directly and have for our entire lives … I think Nichelle and I both felt a sense of urgency in trying to find a way to support a discussion that is percolating but isn’t happening enough. As people of color and minorities in general are starting to get a voice, I think there’s a duty to force this discussion.”
In the end, David Benioff is just asking people to give the show a chance.
“You know, we might fuck it up,” said Benioff. “But we haven’t yet.”
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott