HBO announced today that, as Game of Thrones winds down, its showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be developing their follow-up series, Confederate. It’s set in a universe where the South won the Civil War, seceded from the Union. From The Wrap:
In this version of the United States — or what’s become of it — slavery has remained legal and has continued into the modern era.
The story takes place during what’s called the Third American Civil War and follows a group of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, now a demilitarized zone. The groups the characters belong to are vast and include freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists and others. One specific group are the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families they control.
Twitter did not take this news very well.
A show about an alternate reality where the South won and slavery continues in the modern era.— Desiree (@dangerbowie) July 19, 2017
NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. https://t.co/T9JGZxGs6n
This “Confederate” thing feels like HBO was thinking its TCA exec session next week was gonna be too smooth.— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) July 19, 2017
HBO was like, "We gave y'all a 2nd season of Insecure..now you'll deal with the Confederate.."— Yesha (@YeshaCallahan) July 19, 2017
I will seriously cancel my HBO subscription if they do an alternative Confederate America series.— Shon Richards (@shonrichards) July 19, 2017
*reads description of Confederate* pic.twitter.com/TpUHzFLCJv— W|I|T|C|H B|I|T|C|H (@notveryalice) July 19, 2017
"Confederate…takes place in an alternative timeline…in which slavery is legal" - Yeah, how about…no. https://t.co/CKM2Ar16Rc— Kno (@Kno) July 19, 2017
That HBO is willing to greenlight Confederate fanfic because it's the GoT guys says something about prestige TV, and I don't think it's good— Antoine Linguine (@aklingus) July 19, 2017
Given the GoT Showrunners' history of being… hmmm…A LITTLE tone deaf when it came to rape and what not, I'm a little wary of CONFEDERATE— Jonathan Hansen (@HANSEN_SOGROOVY) July 19, 2017
Want to know what the Confederate States would look like if they won the Civil War? Just like now with more state sanctioned black killing.— Shon Richards (@shonrichards) July 19, 2017
But before we judge the series too harshly (and I’m not saying there aren’t some giant problems with the premise), it’s not that dissimilar to the Man in High Castle concept, where Hitler and Japan won World War II (a show with a lot of promise that has squandered it away). In theory, it might also have some thematic similarities to The Handmaid’s Tale, and it could highlight what a terrible world that would be and perhaps contrast it with our current political landscape?
It would be a seriously challenging undertaking, the margin for error would be razor thin, and two middle-aged white guys are not exactly the dudes who should be tackling this. On the other hand, they have hired at least two POC for their writing staff, Nichelle Tramble Spellman (The Good Wife, Justified) and Malcolm Spellman (Empire, who will also exec produce.
Excited to see Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman are writing on CONFEDERATE. I'm in. pic.twitter.com/Y9ukAVnYnQ— Jeremy Smith (@mrbeaks) July 19, 2017