Confederate, the newly announced HBO show from the creators of Game of Thrones, is already generating controversy. The show takes place in an alternate-reality version of the United States where the Confederates won the American Civil War, thereby allowing slavery to continue. Creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, along with writer-producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcom Spellman, have already responded, and now HBO has as well.
According to Entertainment Weekly, there was an organised protest of the show on Twitter Sunday evening, timed with the new episode of Game of Thrones. Responding to the situation, HBO said in a statement that it has “great respect for the dialogue and concern” regarding Confederate.
“We have faith that Nichelle, Dan, David, and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity,” the network said. “The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”
Benioff said previously that the controversy surrounding Confederate is “a little premature,” in part because of how early in production the show is.
“We haven’t written any scripts yet,” he said. “We don’t have an outline yet. We don’t even have character names,” he said. “So everything is brand new and nothing’s been written. I guess that’s what was a little bit surprising about some of the outrage. It’s just a little premature. You know, we might f**k it up. But we haven’t yet.”
Benioff and Weiss will serve as writers and showrunners on Confederate. It currently has no premiere date, but with Season 8 of Game of Thrones yet to even start production, don’t expect it for at least a couple of years. There are also several Game of Thrones spinoffs in the works, but Benioff and Weiss will not be heavily involved in these.