‘We might f*ck it up – but we haven’t yet’: Game of Thrones showrunners defend proposed slavery show ‘Confederate’
The team behind the wildly popular HBO series “Game of Thrones” have had to speak out on their proposed alt-history series where slavery would still exist, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier in the week, GoT showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss announced their next project, “Confederate,” which would create a world during a third American Civil War where the Southern states have successfully seceded from the Union and slavery remains.
The project was immediately criticized, with both producers being white and creating a world where slavery exists, and Brenioff saying the attacks are “premature.”
“It’s just a little premature,” Benioff said in his defense. “You know, we might f*ck it up. But we haven’t yet.”
In their defense, the GoT team put forth the African-American husband-and-wife team Malcolm and Nichelle Tramble Spellman who will be serving as executive producers on the proposed show that is still more than a year off from appearing on TV.
“This is not a world in which the entire country is enslaved. Slavery is in one half of the country. And the North is the North,” Malcolm Spellman said. “The imagery should be no whips and no plantations.”
“I do understand their concern. 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,” Tramble Spellman added. “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 the D.B.s have done in the past, proves that.”
“It goes without saying slavery is the worst thing that ever happened in American history. It’s our original sin as a nation. And history doesn’t disappear. That sin is still with us in many ways,” Weiss contributed. “Confederate, in all of our minds, will be an alternative history show. It’s a science-fiction show. One of the strengths of science fiction is that it can show us how this history is still with us in a way no strictly realistic drama ever could, whether it were a historical drama or a contemporary drama. It’s an ugly and a painful history, but we all think this is a reason to talk about it, not a reason to run from it.”
Benioff and Weiss have already felt the sting of criticism over Gamne of Thrones for its graphic depictions of rape and violence towards women.