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Updated Jul 31, 2017 at 12:31PM EDT by Matt.

Added Jul 31, 2017 at 11:17AM EDT by Matt.

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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[1] 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,[2] 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,[3] 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.

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 a real in depth look into the complex, conflicted, multifacted character of a very handsome white man who treats black people as livestock an upstart black concubine/mistress who's secretly working with the revolution dumbass intro showing photos constantly zooming and unfocusing of history from 1863 to 2017 probably with the conferate flag at the moon landing or some such horseshit we never expected that actual nazis would use the clips from the show as propaganda!

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,[4] 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).

give me the confidence of white showrunners telling hbo they wanna write slavery fanfic Good luck finding black actors for this project. Shadow And Act @shadowandact HBO plans alt-history drama where 'Confederate' states succeeded & slavery exists from 'Game of Thrones' creators buff.ly/2tgsZmK I don't care if it is done tastefully as possible. The VERY premise is DISGUSTING. Especially now. Who are you pandering to?

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[5] 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 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.[6] 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[7] 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.

Black women assembling like Voltron to get #Confederate TF outta here. Stay tuned GIF

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)

We believe the time to speak up is now, before the show has been written or cast Before @hbo invests too much money into #Confederate· This Sunday at 9pm ET, during @GameOfThrones, we ask you to stand with us. We want to send a message to @hbo using hashtag #N°Confederate.

That night people on Twitter used the hashtag to voice their concerns about the series to HBO. Twitter[8] 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.

#N°Confederate-because as a Southern. the last thing I need is for Whites to see their wet dreams about slavery played out on this show.

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."

Media Coverage

Several news outlets covered the controversy and #NoConfederate hashtag, including The New York Times,[9] The Hollywood Reporter,[10] Fox[11] and more.

Twitter published a Moments[12] page, cataloging some of the tweets.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Variety – ‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Land New Series at HBO

[2] 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

[3] Twitter – @topherflorence's Tweet

[4] The New York Times – I Don’t Want to Watch Slavery Fan Fiction

[5] Twitter – @LiamJohnBell's Tweet

[6] Vulture – The Producers of HBO’s Confederate Respond to the Backlash and Explain Why They Wanted to Tell This Story

[7] Twitter – @ReignOfApril's Tweet

[8] Twitter – @VilissaThompson's Tweet

[9] The New York Times – ‘Confederate’ Inspires #NoConfederate

[10] The Hollywood Reporter – HBO Responds to Anti-Slavery Show #NoConfederate Campaign

[11] Fox News – #NoConfederate campaign against HBO slave drama goes viral online

[12] Twitter – Opponents of HBO's Confederate are speaking up during GoT

[13] Variety – HBO on #NoConfederate Campaign: ‘We Hope People Will Reserve Judgment’

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Top Comments

Ryumaru Borike
Ryumaru Borike

How about waiting for it to come out before labeling it a racist's wet dream? This could just be a standard "what if?" story, or it could be a cautionary tale, you don't know what it is, so you literally can't judge it yet, calm your tits.


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