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#NoConfederate refers to an ongoing controversy and backlash surrounding the upcoming HBO series Confederate, created by David Benioff and D.B Weiss, the showrunners of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. The outcry toward Confederate has to do with the subject matter of the series, which portrays a United States where the southern Confederate states seceded from the Union the U.S. Civil War and slavery remains legal.
On July 19th, 2017, HBO announced a new series from the creators of the hit television series Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Entitled Conferate, the follows an array of characters in a world where the southern confederate states seceded after the civil war, meaning that slavery remained legal. According to HBO's press release, this is the show's full synopsis:
"Confederate chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall."
That day, people online began reacting to the series concept, which many found premise to be offensive. On Twitter, many discussed their issues with the show. Twitter user, @topherflorence, wrote a mocking list of things they expect to see in the series. He tweeted, "if hbo is really going to make a godawful show about confederate slaves in an alt-2017 let me save you the trouble here is what happens." The tweet (shown below) received more than 3,500 retweets and 7,200 likes in less than two weeks.
Throughout the night, more people began responding to the news about the show with ire. Critic Roxane Gay penned an op-ed for the New York Times, calling the show "slavery fan fiction." Most of them questioned HBO's decision to go through with the show, calling the idea to be insensitive in light of the United States' current racial divides, as well as Game of Thrones' issues with portraying non-white characters (examples below).
Others, however have defended the show, saying that its concept is similar to the Amazon television series The Man In The High Castle. That night, Twitter user @LiamJohnBell tweeted (shown below), "The whole outcry against the confederate war TV show on #HBO is dumb, was no outcry to Man in The High Castle. Besides it's just TV."
The following day, Benioff and Weiss, as well as show writers and executive producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman discussed the controversy in an interview with Vulture. Weiss said:
"Everything is brand new and nothing’s been written. 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–k it up. But we haven’t yet."
On July 27th, April Reign, the activist behind Oscar So White, tweeted a gif of Voltron with the caption, "Black women assembling like Voltron to get #Confederate TF outta here. Stay tuned." The tweet (shown below) received more than 800 retweets and 3,200 likes in less than one week.
The following day, she posted a thread of tweets about a campaign called "#NoConfederate," which asked Twitter users to tweet their concerns about the new show during the July 30th broadcast of Game of Thrones (shown below)
That night people on Twitter used the hashtag to voice their concerns about the series to HBO. Twitter user @VilissaThompson tweeted, "#NoConfederate – because as a Southern, the last thing I need is for Whites to see their wet dreams about slavery played out on this show." The tweet (shown below) received more than 750 retweets and 1,900 likes in less than 24 hours.
HBO responded to the backlash with a statement:
"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 project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see."
Several news outlets covered the controversy and #NoConfederate hashtag, including The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Fox and more.
Twitter published a Moments page, cataloging some of the tweets.
 Variety – ‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Land New Series at HBO
 HBO – "HBO Announces Confederate, a New Draa Series Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss:https://medium.com/hbo-cinemax-pr/hbo-announces-confederate-a-new-drama-series-created-by-david-benioff-and-d-b-weiss-31e5d4e705bb
 Twitter – @topherflorence's Tweet
 The New York Times – I Don’t Want to Watch Slavery Fan Fiction
 Twitter – @LiamJohnBell's Tweet
 Vulture – The Producers of HBO’s Confederate Respond to the Backlash and Explain Why They Wanted to Tell This Story
 Twitter – @ReignOfApril's Tweet
 Twitter – @VilissaThompson's Tweet
 The New York Times – ‘Confederate’ Inspires #NoConfederate
 The Hollywood Reporter – HBO Responds to Anti-Slavery Show #NoConfederate Campaign
 Fox News – #NoConfederate campaign against HBO slave drama goes viral online
 Twitter – Opponents of HBO's Confederate are speaking up during GoT
 Variety – HBO on #NoConfederate Campaign: ‘We Hope People Will Reserve Judgment’
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Jul 31, 2017 at 12:26PM EDT
Jul 31, 2017 at 12:33PM EDT
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