HBO defends controversial new show from ‘Game Of Thrones’ creators

The hashtag #NoConfederate began trending as 'Game Of Thrones' aired last night.

HBO has responded to a Twitter campaign calling on the network to drop Confederate, a forthcoming series from the creators of Game Of Thrones.

HBO announced Confederate earlier this month. Game Of Thrones bosses David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will serve as writer-creators and showrunners on the upcoming series, joined by Nichelle Tramble Spellman (The Good Wife) and Malcolm Spellman (Empire) as executive producers.

According to a press release, it “chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War,” but “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,” HBO adds, “follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarised Zone — freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.”

The show’s slavery-themed storyline has attracted mounting criticism on Twitter, where the hashtag #NoConderate began trending as last night’s episode of Game Of Thrones aired. The hashtag was launched by activist April Reign, who previously spearheaded the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag in 2015.

Responding to Reign’s hashtag, HBO said in a statement: “We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate. 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.”

The show is due to start shooting after the final season of Game Of Thrones.