‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Defend ‘Confederate’ After Backlash Over Slavery Theme
David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have broken their silence after their newly-announced project sparked controversy. The “Game of Thrones” creators and showrunners are developing “Confederate” for HBO.
The upcoming series “chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution.”
People are mostly shocked by the slavery theme. Responding to the criticism, Weiss says, “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.”
Some people took issue with the fact that the drama would be told by two white men, though it has Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman on board as producers. “I do understand their concern,” says Nichelle Spellman. “I wish their concern had been reserved to the night of the premiere, on HBO, on a Sunday night, when they watched and then they made a decision after they watched an hour of television as to whether or not we succeeded in what we set out to do.”
Malcolm Spellman adds, “You cannot litigate this on Twitter. It’s not possible. … people don’t have to get on board 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 sell-outs involved in this show. Me and Nichelle are not props being used to protect someone else. We are people who feel a need to address issues the same way they do, and they should at least humanize the other end of those tweets and articles.”
The producers explain that their narrative isn’t a defense of slavery or an endorsement of white supremacist ideas. “This is not a world in which the entire country is enslaved,” Malcolm Spellman says. “Slavery is in one half of the country. And the North is the North… The imagery should be no whips and no plantations.”
According to HBO’s description, “Confederate” “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.”
“Confederate” has been ordered straight to series. Production is slated to begin after the final season of “Game of Thrones”. “There are no black people on ‘Game of Thrones’,” he said in an interview with GQ.
Recently, Benioff and Weiss’ hit series “Game of Thrones” was slammed by “Star Wars” actor John Boyega due to its lack of diversity.