Game of Thrones creators respond to slavery drama backlash

Game of Thrones creators respond to slavery drama backlash
Art Streiber

Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have responded to criticism of their planned HBO drama series that imagines a modern-day America where slavery is legal, calling the outrage “a little premature.”

On Wednesday, the network announced Confederate, a new series from the showrunners of the channel’s Emmy-winning, worldwide sensation, Game of Thrones. The alternate-history tale chronicles events leading to the “Third American Civil War,” where the Southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, and slavery has evolved into a modern institution. Online reaction to the concept ranged from curious and excited to shocked and appalled, with some detractors accusing HBO of making a show that sounds like a white supremacist fantasy.

On Thursday, Benioff and Weiss — along with producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman (Justified) and Malcolm Spellman (Empire) — spoke to Vulture about the project and the backlash it received, with Benioff noting no scripts for Confederate have been written yet.

“So everything is brand new and nothing’s been written,” Benioff said of the show. “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— it up. But we haven’t yet.”

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Some Confederate critics took issue with Benioff and Weiss tackling this subject as white men, though their project has two notable writer-producers of color on board, the Spellmans, both of whom said audiences should wait before judging the final product.

“I do understand their concern,” Nichelle Tramble Spellman said. “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. The concern is real. But I think that the four of us are very thoughtful, very serious, and not flip about what we are getting into in any way. What I’ve done in the past, what Malcolm has done in the past, what…