The response to HBO’s nascent series Confederate has been chilly since the show was first announced earlier this month. It’s the latest project from the Game of Thrones team of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with married writing duo Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman, and it’s set in an alternate timeline in which the Southern states successfully seceded from the Union, and where slavery still exists in modern-day America.
The backlash arrived fast and furious, mostly from prominent black voices but by no means limited to them. Both the show’s creators and executives from HBO defended Confederate, asking viewers to reserve judgment until the eventual premiere. Last night, however, during the East Coast airing of Game of Thrones, organizer April Reign, the woman behind last year’s #OscarsSoWhite campaign, teamed up with other organizers to get #NoConfederate trending worldwide.
“We believe the time to speak up is now, before the show has been written or cast. Before @hbo invests too much money into #Confederate,” she wrote on Twitter.
In response, HBO has again gone on the defensive, issuing the following statement: “We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate. We have faith that [writers] Nichelle, Dan, David and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity. The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.” The premium cable network appears unmoved by the outcry against Confederate for now. The show is a long way away, however.