As the third episode of Game of Thrones’ seventh season aired, another HBO-focused campaign pulled a lot of attention away from the mega-popular fantasy drama.
Last week, HBO announced a new project with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, an alternative reality show in which the Civil War did not stop slavery and it continued to this very day. Woof. Pretty rough, right?
Lots of people thought so, and the announcement was greeted with multitudes of backlash against the extremely sensitive subject and the fact that it would be spearheaded by two white dudes. (Writer couple Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman, who are black, are tapped to co-write and executive produce, but D&D are still set to be the showrunners.)
Out of this intense social media and regular media backlash, an impromptu protest formed with the Twitter hashtag #NoConfederate. The campaign was launched by #OscarsSoWhite progenitor ReignofApril and the hashtag spread like wildfire. Viewers of Game of Thrones circled the hashtag around tonight’s episode as a loud message that they had no desire for a show about modern slavery.
Many just tagged #NoConfederate along with their weekly GoT live tweeting and some called out HBO on the issue all together.
HBO responded to the popular campaign Sunday, in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter:
“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.”
Though it’s too soon to tell, it doesn’t look like this statement will make much of an impact on those not really wanting such a divisive and seemingly unwise television show. Meanwhile, those behind the campaign celebrated a great success tonight.