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Posted: July 31, 2017

‘Confederate’ series facing vehement backlash, critics demand HBO scrap it

A confederate flag is pictured here at a political rally in Wakefield, Va. HBO is taking heat over a planned series called ‘Confederate’ that explores the idea that the South did not lose the Civil War and that slavery still exists.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.
A confederate flag is pictured here at a political rally in Wakefield, Va. HBO is taking heat over a planned series called ‘Confederate’ that explores the idea that the South did not lose the Civil War and that slavery still exists.

By Jennifer Brett, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Jill Vejnoska, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Any hopes HBO had that it had calmed the “Confederate” fallout last week were dashed big time on Sunday night. Foes of the future series from “Game of Thrones'” creators took to Twitter during the “GOT” season finale to make their feelings known.

>> Read more trending news

As the latest “Winter is coming” machinations played out onscreen, HBO came out with a formal statement about “Confederate,” a series set in some alternate universe where the South successfully secedes from the Union and slavery remains in place. In it, the prestige premium cable channel cited the GOT/Confederate team’s track record and urged people to wait to see the finished product before passing judgment.

“We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate. We have faith that Nichelle, Dan, David and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity,” the statement said. “The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”

That may be wishful thinking on HBO’s part, though. As of Monday morning, #NoConfederate was still popular on Twitter. A sample:

>> Related: Critics demand HBO scrap plans for ‘Confederate’ series

The actual Civil War ended in 1865, leaving more than 600,000 Union and Rebel troops dead. 

There’s apparently no Appomattox Courthouse scene in the new show. Instead, the HBO series assumes the fighting ended without reuniting the union, and instead the USA and CSA persist, a la North Korea and South Korea or East/West Berlin, with the Mason-Dixon Line serving as a DMZ.

“The story follows a broad swath of characters … freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall,” Deadline reported.

>> Related: Atlanta History Center: Don’t tear down Confederate monuments

Programming president Case Bloys said during a Television Critics Association event that he hopes viewers will “judge the actual material versus what it might be,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Network brass issued a statement saying they have “great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around ‘Confederate'” and are sure the creative team will approach the subject with care and sensitivity.”

>> Related: Across the South, confederate statues take their last stand


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