Game of Thrones producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have faced plenty of backlash over their new HBO series Confederate, and now a senior figure at HBO has admitted the announcement for the controversial drama shouldn’t have been made the way it was.
The alternative history imagining what would happen if the southern states had won the US civil war against the Unionists and slavery remained legal, was branded “tone deaf” by fans when it was first announced.
Now, HBO programming president Casey Bloys has said: “If I had it to do over again, I would have the four producers sit with journalists. 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 added that the show was not going to be “Gone With The Wind 2017” and echoed the showrunners’ earlier claims that criticism of the show was “premature”.
“This is scary, for all of us. It’s scary for different reasons,” said Benioff. “But it is a pretty terrifying prospect getting into it. We knew it would be, and now it’s come true.”
Benioff and Weiss said they were surprised there had been “outrage” at such an early stage, and speaking to Vulture, defended the project in light of the fact that scripts have not even been written yet.
“Everything is brand new and nothing’s been written,” said Weiss. “I guess that’s what was a little bit surprising about some of the outrage. It’s just a little premature. You know, we might f*** it up. But we haven’t yet.”
Fellow producer Nichelle Tramble Spellman added: “I wish their concern had been reserved to the night of the premiere, on HBO, on a Sunday night, when they watched and then they made a decision after they watched an hour of television as to whether or not we succeeded in what we set out to do.”