While the news might have excited fans of the series, the new project, based in an alternate timeline in which modern-day slavery is practiced under a successfully succeeded Confederacy, received less-then-positive reactions.
According to HBO’s press release, the series, titled Confederate, follows events leading up to the “Third American Civil War” and include “freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall” as they, you know, navigate the politics of modernized slavery.
The comments on HBO’s Medium post, while few, all resonate a literal, “don’t do this,” echoing the general reaction from other internet critics. Many completely disagreed with the network re-imagining a world in which the South fulfilled on their promise to “rise again,” particularly at a moment in the United States when discussions involving race and reparations still devolve to retorts like, “Go back to Africa.”
#Confederate is a neonazi wet dream. It's a repulsive premise of a show literally designed by rich white men to profit from white supremacy.— Crystal Fleming is not endorsing any candidates (@alwaystheself) July 20, 2017
Black people in the USA right now don't have to spin an alt-history "what if" to consider the impact of institutional racism on their lives.— Foz Meadows (@fozmeadows) July 20, 2017
Hey @HBO, Confederate would be much more dynamic if the alternate timeline explored an America that doesn't exploit black pain for a change.— brann of green gables (@tonibrannagan) July 20, 2017
No thanks, HBO. If I want to see an alternate reality where the South won the Civil War I'll attend a Trump rally where people think it did.— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) July 20, 2017
Some used HBO’s announcement to pitch their own series “involving” slavery.
HBO pitch: America but if slavery had never happened.— Nathaniel Friedman (@freedarko) July 20, 2017
I want to develop a show for HBO where the 2017 election never really ended and America was split in two and fought over everything forever— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) July 20, 2017
#DavesIdeas new HBO series: alternate history where New Coke became popular— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) July 20, 2017
Hey @HBO, I'm writing a script abt an alternate timeline where the South loses the war and slave owners & their descendants are enslaved.— AGirlHasNoPresident (@kamtheleo) July 20, 2017
How about HBO make a show of an alternate world where white ppl think racism is over evn tho it shapes every part of American life...oh wait— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) July 19, 2017
Others, like writer Nicole Silverberg, shared their thoughts on how they anticipate the slavery-rooted series to play out: two hot white guys ignoring the realities of the prison industrial complex while trying to explain how slavery is all about economics.
wow, the first page of HBO's Confederate has leaked!!!!!!! excited to share it with you all!! pic.twitter.com/FIaY9wa3KK— Nicole Silverberg (@nsilverberg) July 20, 2017
Some, however, pushed for HBO to drop the slavery revisionism and pick up Underground instead, a critically-acclaimed WGN America series about the Underground Railroad that was canceled after two seasons.
If HBO wants a series about the Civil War so bad, here's an idea - PICK UP UNDERGROUND.— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) July 19, 2017
HBO didn't wanna pick up Underground, but Confederate sounded like the next best thing. Ok— Forgemaster Flash (@Phllp_Wnslw) July 19, 2017
Seriously HBO, you could have just picked up Underground.— Syreeta McFadden (@reetamac) July 19, 2017
Perhaps the Game of Thrones team will take some of this criticism to heart before beginning production begins.
The Daily Dot has reached out to a representative from HBO for comment.