The creator’s of HBO’s hit medieval fantasy series “Game of Thrones” are facing a backlash over controversial plans for their next project.
Dan Weiss and David Benioff, who made their names adapting the George R.R. Martin books for the small screen, will write and direct an original series called Confederate.
And while details remain scarce on the proposed project, the plans have already garnered some understandably negative responses from fans online.
Confederate is set to focus on an alternative reality where slavery is still legal and southern US states have seceded. The series will focus on the events leading up to the Third American Civil War.
Freedom fighters, slave hunters, journalists, abolitionists and politicians on both sides of the divide will be the focus of the series, which was initially conceived as a feature film.
However, the show may yet struggle to get off the ground if the negative responses to the plans begin to snowball.
The main issue appears to centre on the inclusion of slavery in the show, with some questioning why two white men felt the need to create such a programme which has been dubbed “slavery fan fiction” by some Twitter users.
How is @HBO showing an "alternate timeline" when the current prison system requires thousands of black people to work with no pay?
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) July 19, 2017
Two white guys making a show where black slavery features prominently. This is profoundly tone deaf.
— Logan Rapp (@Loganchance) July 19, 2017
That HBO is willing to greenlight Confederate fanfic because it's the GoT guys says something about prestige TV, and I don't think it's good
— Antoine Linguine (@aklingus) July 19, 2017
As the HBO press release notes, the show will be set in “a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution” which sounds problematic, to say the least.
The series is also set to focus on “the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall” which could prove equally troubling.
Confidential to HBO: Nobody on here thinks #Confederate is a good idea.
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) July 19, 2017
Our speculative fiction involves us discovering new worlds, within ourselves and without. Theirs is "Welcome back slavery"
— Kev (@secondkoan) July 19, 2017
I don't care if it is done tastefully as possible.
The VERY premise is DISGUSTING.
Who are you pandering to?
— Unfazed (@unfazed_post) July 19, 2017
Those defending Weiss and Benioff have pointed to the presence of two black writers on the Game of Thrones writing staff but, given the tricky subject matter and the fact the medieval fantasy drama is lacking some diversity, this story could run on for some time.
The Twitter controversy comes just days after fans flocked to the micro blogging site to voice their anger at the addition of Ed Sheeran to the show.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.