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Black Twitter breaks up ‘Game of Thrones’ lovefest with protest against HBO’s ‘Confederate’
#NoConfederate trended worldwide during last night’s episode.
The premise of HBO’s upcoming series Confederate, produced by Game of Thrones showrunners, has been highly controversial: an alternate post-Civil War outcome, where modern-day slavery is set in a 21st-century rendition of the Confederate States of America. Since its original announcement just over a week ago, the show has been criticized by activists of color for its objectification of black suffering. And Black Twitter wants HBO to know that they aren’t backing down from protesting the series anytime soon.
Activists Jamie Broadnax, Shanelle Little, Lauren Warren, Rebecca Theodore, and April Reign joined together Friday to launch the hashtag #NoConfederate. The idea was simple: During Game of Thrones on Sunday, Black Twitter and its allies were asked to write tweets criticizing Confederate and calling on HBO to pull the show. And the campaign worked, causing #NoConfederate to trend in both the U.S. and the world at large from 9 to 10 PM ET.
— April (@ReignOfApril) July 28, 2017
— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) July 28, 2017
#NoConfederate is basically:
White ppl: omg… what if… white supremacy….was still real????!?!?! could you imagine??!?!?!?
Black ppl: pic.twitter.com/wT8cobNAd2
— black history heaux (@localblactivist) July 31, 2017
#NoConfederate because the terror of white supremacy is a reality for POC. This shouldn't even have to be a hashtag in 2017.
— Jay Coles (@mrjaycoles) July 31, 2017
Reign previously created the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite in 2015 to point out how the Academy Awards rarely nominates people of color. With over 90,000 Twitter followers, Reign helped spearhead the #NoConfederate hashtag over the weekend, getting the word out as Game of Thrones aired.
“What we see with #OscarsSoWhite and #NoConfederate is that when people rise up with a unified voice, change can be made,” Reign told BuzzFeed News. “We are very intentionally acting now, before the scripts are written, before the parts are cast. We want to say to HBO: Don’t put any additional money into this, because we are not going to go away.”
— April (@ReignOfApril) July 31, 2017
The hashtag itself experienced backlash on Sunday night, however. Conservative and alt-right Twitter users proceeded to mock #NoConfederate activists, painting the protests as “censorship.” Some pro-Trump accounts even joined in, using the hashtag to make fun of the left for Trump’s 2016 presidential win.
A work of fiction might offend me? Then by all means, IT SHOULDN'T EXIST FOR ANYONE!
Burn some books and get it over with.#NoConfederate
— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) July 31, 2017
— NY Nite Owl (@SoarForFreedom) July 31, 2017
Reason #4,202 Trump won:
Photo of the President's severed head = ART
TV show of events nobody alive went thru = OFFENSIVE#NoConfederate
— Sean Spicier (@sean_spicier) July 31, 2017
HBO has since responded to the protest with a statement celebrating the “dialogue” around the show, but ultimately put its full confidence behind Confederate executive producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman, D.B. Weiss, David Beinoff, and Malcom Spellman.
“We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate,” HBO said, according to Variety. “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.”
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.