Series under fire
No scripts have been written, not even an outline.
But HBO’s announcement on Wednesday that the creator-showrunners of “Game of Thrones’’ will follow up that massive hit with an HBO series in which slavery remains legal in the modern-day South drew fire on social media from those who fear that telling that story will glorify racism.
The series, “Confederate,’’ will take place in an alternate timeline where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union and formed a nation in which legalized slavery has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows “a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone,’’ HBO said.
“Confederate’’ will be created and written by “Game of Thrones’’ masterminds David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who will also serve as showrunners on the series. Both are white.
HBO’s announcement also said they would join forces with Malcolm Spellman (“Empire,’’ the forthcoming “Foxy Brown’’) and Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“Justified,’’ ‘’The Good Wife”), husband-and-wife TV veterans who both are black and who will be fellow executive producers and writers on the new series.
Weiss called slavery “our original sin as a nation. And history doesn’t disappear . ... It’s an ugly and a painful history, but we all think this is a reason to talk about it, not a reason to run from it. And this feels like a potentially valuable way to talk about it.’’
Benioff added, “I’d say anyone who thinks that Malcolm and Nichelle are props have never met Malcolm and Nichelle.’’