Live tweeting during Game of Thrones has become a common practice for the legions of fans that watch the show Sundays on HBO. But when season 7’s episode 3 airs Sunday night, a campaign to stop Confederate from coming to fruition will attempt to hashtag its way through the GoT fan static.
If you haven’t been following every single Game of Thrones development since the show began airing again in July, Confederate is the newly announced post-GoT project for show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
The series, which will reportedly imagine a dystopian version of America where the southern states successfully succeeded from the Union and slavery still exists, gathered instant backlash for a number of obvious reasons. Among them, a central argument is that such a show — guided by two white creators — would only serve to commodify and exploit black pain. People also felt that the announcement the the series incorrectly implies that the Civil War resulted in equality for black Americans by presenting a story in which a society that oppresses black people is a fictional, alternate history.
To get across the point that people don’t want this show to move forward, Rebecca Theodore, Jamie Broadnax, Shanelle Little, Lauren Warren, and April Reign — who is the creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag — have joined up to push the hashtag to the forefront Sunday night.
The crew of women hope that by getting the hashtag into a trending space, HBO will take notice and pull the show before it starts writing the script and casting.
Hashtags have proven to be effective for this kind of campaign in the past. #OscarsSoWhite, for example, put the Academy on blast for their diversity issues in 2016. The next year, the Academy shuffled its ranks, and what followed were black nominees in all four Academy Award acting categories — for the first time in Oscar history.
For anyone who’s still curious, here is the premise of Confederate, from HBO:
CONFEDERATE chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.
Yeah, it really doesn’t feel like the kind of series we need. If HBO is so set on going sci-fi dystopian, might we suggest Octavia Butler?