HBO was trending on social media over the weekend but not in a good way. The pay-cable channel’s upcoming slavery drama “Confederate” became the focus of a social media campaign urging HBO to abandon the project.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the grass-roots campaign against the project hit No. 2 Sunday, during HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” on Twitter’s worldwide trending topics.
The outcry prompted a response from HBO, which released a statement saying: “We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around ‘Confederate.’ We have faith that [writers] 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.”
As we reported earlier this month, the series comes from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of “Game of Thrones.”
“Confederate” imagines an alternate universe in which the Southern states have seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The series tracks the activities of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone, including freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists and the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate.
“The campaign, organized by April Reign, creator of the #OscarsSoWhite outcry, urged viewers to tweet #NoConfederate during Sunday’s episode of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ in a bid to send a message to the cabler that their subscribers don’t want to see a show that explores slavery in any sense,” THR reports. “By the end of ‘Game of Thrones’ East Coast broadcast, #NoConfederate had reached No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 2 worldwide among Twitter’s trending topics.”