When HBO announced last week that they were developing a new show with the creators of “Game of Thrones” involving a third American Civil War and modern-day slavery, reactions were expected. The proposed “Confederate” series by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been deemed extremely controversial from its title alone, with plenty of complaints from both African-Americans and the Southern States.

The two showrunners have been trying to run damage control on the backlash over the past few days of the news. Now even HBO president Casey Bloys himself has decided to weigh in on the brouhaha. He did so however by admitting that the public introduction to “Confederate” had been badly handled.

Misguided introduction

On Wednesday, July 27, HBO boss Casey Bloys delivered an address at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California. One of the subjects he touched on was the negative reception of their network’s in-development series “Confederate.”

Here he came clean about the rollout of the show, remarking that there may have been a bit of “misguidance” in David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ presentation of the new show. "HBO's mistake was that we would be able to announce an idea that is so sensitive and requires such care and thought on the part of producers in a press release,” he said.

Confederate” is being conceptualized by Weiss and Benioff with help from Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman.

It imagines the world with a history wherein the southern US successfully secedes from the north to become a nation of its own.

In this way, they preserve their institution of slavery well into the present day, while relations with the United States up north alternate between armed conflict and cold war with a demilitarized zone separating them.

At the onset of the series, however, the two nations are on the verge of fighting a third war.

No stereotyping

The most widespread backlash of HBO’s “Confederate” series comes from two factions. Americans from the southern states decry what they perceive as a show that will stereotype them as rednecks with an obsession for slaveholding.

African-Americans meanwhile are upset at a possible sensationalist treatment of the suffering of their ancestors. Casey Bloys tells his TCA press tour audience that D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, along with their fellow producers, are not looking at modern-day 'whips and plantations.'

"The producers said they're not going to do Gone with the Wind 2017,” Bloys explains. “It's not whips and plantations. What they envision is what a modern-day version of slavery would look like." He enjoins the public to “judge the actual material as opposed to what it could be.”

HBO hopes to begin work on “Confederate" after “Game of Thrones” concludes next year; its seventh season which started this July is only two episodes though.

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