HBO announced yesterday that it will be producing “Confederate”, a show that will imagine a world in which the South won the Civil War and slavery is still a legal institution. The series is the brainchild of “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
The hype, however, was overshadowed by major ire as the masses took to Twitter to let HBO know exactly what they thought.
if hbo is really going to make a godawful show about confederate slaves in an alt-2017 let me save you the trouble here is what happens pic.twitter.com/u5ycC5t2IS— DOCFUTURE (@topherflorence) July 19, 2017
Every pop culture writer I know, upon being asked about HBO’s Confederate. pic.twitter.com/Pa5MeMe4eK— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann) July 19, 2017
Confederate, Man in the High Castle, whatever — alt histories where genocide wins are boring. Genocide has already won, like, a lot.— Connor Goldsmith (@dreamoforgonon) July 19, 2017
It is exhausting to think of how many people at @HBO said yes to letting two white men envision modern day slavery. And offensive. https://t.co/xsxWJ6FHUv— roxane gay (@rgay) July 19, 2017
remind me to stay off the internet the day when Ed Sheeran cameos as a slave trader in CONFEDERATE.— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) July 19, 2017
I don’t need slavery, racism, and white saviors whiteplained to me even in an alternate fanfic format. #Confederate #HBO #GameOfThones— Deva (@UPBookBlog) July 20, 2017
“Confederate” is the latest of its kind that networks have recently been producing. “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Man in the High Castle”, and “Black Mirror”, three shows that take place in an alternate dystopian universe, have all enjoyed stellar ratings so it’s no surprise that HBO would race to green light yet another show that relies on this theme.
But much of the backlash “Confederate” is getting focuses on the race of the showrunners who have conceived of the show — two white Jewish men. This is what sets the show apart from that of “Handmaid’s Tale”, based on a book written by a woman, and “Man In The High Castle”, created by a Jewish man (the former is about female slavery, the latter is a depiction of a world in which the Nazis had not lost). When it comes to identity politics, these two series get a pass.
“Confederate”, however, is being taken to task.
Neither HBO nor Weiss or Benioff have as of yet responded to the outcry.
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott