‘Confederate’ Debate: Can ‘Game of Thrones’ Duo Handle Slavery Responsibly?

Upcoming HBO series from “Game of Thrones” creators will be set in an alternate reality where slavery remains legal

Like their HBO hit “Game of Thrones,” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ newly announced follow-up series, “Confederate,” has people talking — though some wonder if the two white men will handle the subject responsibly.

“Confederate” takes place in a world where the southern states won the Civil War and seceded from the Union. Its creative team includes African-American writers and executive producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman. HBO says it “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.”

Twitter users seem to have honed in on that last part, categorically objecting to the idea of a series that imagines slavery as “a modern institution.”

“It is exhausting to think of how many people at @HBO said yes to letting two white men envision modern day slavery. And offensive,” wrote author Roxane Gay in response to the announcement.

“The writers of a fantasy show with no black people cant wait to write a fantasy show where the black roles are… slaves,” wrote The Daily Beast’s Ira Madison III in one of several tweets about the show.

Others cautioned patience given the relatively few details released about the show at this point in the development process. “Confederate” isn’t scheduled to being production until Weiss and Benioff complete production on “Game of Thrones,” which is still more than a year away from its conclusion.

“OR….just spitballing here…we could review the new show AFTER it exists,” wrote “Five Came Back” author Mark Harris. “Doing a quick search now for all your outraged hot takes when ‘The Man in the High Castle’ was announced. Be back soon, or possibly never.”

In another tweet, Harris also referenced “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the acclaimed Hulu series based on Margaret Atwood’s classic novel, which similarly envisions a dystopian future.

“Politically charged speculative alt-America fiction is a big category. I don’t assume bad faith any more than I would for Handmaid’s Tale,” he wrote. “And ‘stay in your lane/this is not your story to tell’ isn’t how I approach art, artists or pop culture. We can differ on that. Politely.”

See some of the tweets below: