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Activists Protest HBO's Confederate, Network Responds

Activists Protest HBO's Confederate, Network Responds

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Vince Bucci/Invision/AP

"What confidence should we have in two gentleman who can't talk about race on their own show and have had seven seasons to introduce significant characters of color?"

HBO recently announced it would be producing a show called Confederate from the white male creators of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss,about an alternate history where the South successfully seceded from the North and kept slavery legal.

Naturally, many people had problems with the production and thus, the #NoConfederate movement was born. #OscarsSoWhite leader April Reign is one of the champions of #NoConfederate, and largely responsible for getting it to the #1 trending topic on Twitter in America and #2 in the world during last night's episode of Game of Thrones.

"What confidence should we have in two gentleman who can't talk about race on their own show and have had seven seasons to introduce significant characters of color?" Reign asked, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Critics of the series have called the concept exploitative of unhealed national wounds and using racial violence salciously for the purposes of viewers' enjoyment.

"What makes the premise fundamentally problematic is that it threatens to erase the actual history," says activist Bree Newsome to 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."

Reign elaborated on the goal of the #NoConfederate movement to the Los Angeles Times: "We want to show HBO the power of social media of those who are against this show and demonstrate that there is a unified voice against Confederate. Our objective is for HBO to cancel this idea and spend no more money on it."

HBO has released an official statement in response to the protests: "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."

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