HBO Boss Regrets Announcement of ‘Game of Thrones’ Follow-Up ‘Confederate’

Confederate TV show, Casey Bloys

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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

   

HBO clearly desires to remain in enterprise with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss… even when that enterprise has the entire Internet fired up with outrage.

That mentioned, per week after asserting Confederate, David and Dan’s subsequent TV present, community execs admit they’ve already made errors.

Confederate “chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War,” the premium cable outlet mentioned in its July 19 press launch.

“The sequence takes place in an alternate timeline, the place the southern states have efficiently seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation by which slavery stays authorized and has developed into a contemporary establishment.

“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.”

The backlash was robust — maybe even stronger than the producers or the showrunners had imagined.

“The writers of a fantasy show with no black people can’t wait to write a fantasy show where the black roles are… slaves,” tweeted The Daily Beast’s Ira Madison III.

“What will it mean for Black children to come of age with Confederate on air with Donald Trump as president?” requested astrophysicist Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein.

“It is exhausting to think of how many people at @HBO said yes to letting two white men envision modern day slavery. And offensive,” added Hunger writer Roxane Gay.

The following day, David and Dan mentioned the controversy with Vulture, alongside their fellow government producers, husband-and-wife duo Malcolm and Nichelle Tramble Spellman, who occur to be black.

Confederate, in all of our minds, will probably be an alternative-history present. It’s a science-fiction present,” Dan mentioned.

“One of the strengths of science fiction is that it could present us how this historical past remains to be with us in a approach no strictly lifelike drama ever may, whether or not it have been a historic drama or a up to date drama.

“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.”

“I do understand their concern,” Nichelle says of the web critics.

“The concern is real. But I think that the four of us are very thoughtful, very serious, and not flip about what we are getting into in any way.”

“We take care of the wrestle each single day, Malcolm added.

“And people don’t have to get onboard with what we’re doing based on a press release. But when they’re writing about us, and commenting about us, they should be mindful of the fact that there are no sellouts involved in this show.”

Now HBO programming president Casey Bloys is proudly owning as much as the community’s shortcomings in anticipating the controversy.

“If I could do it over again, HBO’s mistake — not the producers’ — was the idea that we would be able to announce an idea that is so sensitive, that requires such care and thought on the part of the producers in a press release,” he informed reporters on July 26, per Entertainment Weekly.

“[It] was misguided on our part,” Casey admitted.

“[We] had the advantage of sitting with these 4 producers, we heard why they needed to do the present, what they have been enthusiastic about, and why it was necessary to them, so we had that context, however I utterly perceive that anyone studying the press launch wouldn’t have that in any respect.

“If I had to do it over again, I would’ve rolled it out with the producers on the record so people understood where they were coming from.”

Still, the controversy rages on, irrespective of the cautious language HBO or the producers use or the assurances they make — particularly as a result of two white males are nonetheless listed because the showrunners, the final word bosses of the present, regardless of the Spellmans’ involvement.

“What makes the premise fundamentally problematic is that it threatens to erase the actual history,” activist and artist Bree Newsome informed The Hollywood Reporter.

“There has been so much deliberate miseducation around the Civil War, and this basically rewrites black history of the past 150 years. We combat racism through educating people on history, so it’s dangerous to present alternative histories when people are still not clear on the facts.”

“These white filmmakers who have been silent on the plight of black America are basically profiting off of black pain,” provides movie critic ReBecca Theodore.

“This show is just something cool that will give them ratings and accolades, but there’s nothing in their work that has ever shown that they have a vested interest in the welfare of black Americans.”

Time will inform how this sequence seems — or if it seems, for that matter. More as this story develops…