Most likely the thought that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the duo behind Game Of Thrones on HBO, could do no wrong as they neared the end of their hit show and chose their next project. Then HBO dropped Confederate on the public’s lap and the reaction was far from one you’d expect for two golden boys coming off the biggest show in the network’s history. Folks like Roxane Gay criticized the future seres as “exhausting” and “offensive,” following the events leading to a third American Civil War in an alternate history tale where the Confederacy successfully seceded, slavery is still legal, and the Mason-Dixon line is now a DMZ.
While the series seems to be an expansive look at the world that exists in this alternate timeline, it was always going to rub people the wrong and was left to imaginations of viewers and critics after it was announced in a press release. This is where HBO knew they’d made a wrong turn according to The Hollywood Reporter. Programming president Casey Bloys shared this regret during the HBO panel at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour:
“If I had it to do over again, I would have the four producers sit with journalists,” said Bloys. “HBO’s mistake was [thinking] that we would be able to announce an idea that was so sensitive in a press release. … People don’t have the benefit of the context from the producers that we had.”
He adds that the show is not going to be “Gone With The Wind 2017” and it’s not all “whips and plantations,” keeping with that “wait and see” attitude that was shared by Benioff, Weiss, Malcolm Spellman, and Nichelle Tramble Spellman when they attempted to respond to the backlash last week.