Black Twitter breaks up ‘Game of Thrones’ lovefest with protest against HBO’s ‘Confederate’

Screengrab via Game of Thrones/HBO

#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.

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.”

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.

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.”

H/T BuzzFeed News

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