Hulu: Our series, The Handmaid's Tale, is going to be the most chillingly prescient dystopian show in 2017!— 🍾 Meghan Sara 🍾 (@MeghanSaraK) July 19, 2017
HBO: "Hold my beer" #Confederate
Confidential to HBO: Nobody on here thinks #Confederate is a good idea.— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) July 19, 2017
Regarding #Confederate: I'm still in disbelief at the media's response to the rise of overt white nationalism. They're monetizing this shit.— Professor Fleming (@alwaystheself) July 20, 2017
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss defended the show to Vulture, calling the backlash "a little premature." They also pointed out that two African-American writers -- husband-and-wife team Nichelle Tramble Spellman ("The Good Wife") and Malcolm Spellman ("Empire") -- will be co-producing as well as writing the show with them. The foursome talked to Vulture about the project and why they wanted to do it.
Benioff said he's always been fascinated with the Civil War and the "what if's" if the war had gone a different way, but added he'll be approaching the "real" and "raw" material in "Confederate" in a very different way from "Game of Thrones."
Weiss explained, "It goes without saying slavery is the worst thing that ever happened in American history. It's our original sin as a nation. And history doesn't disappear. That sin is still with us in many ways... It's an ugly and a painful history, but we all think this is a reason to talk about it, not a reason to run from it. And this feels like a potentially valuable way to talk about it."
Malcolm Spellman anticipated the backlash, saying, "You're dealing with weapons-grade material here."
Tramble Spellman said she does understand the negative reaction by from the black community: "I do understand their concern," but adds she wishes they had waited until after the show actually airs.
Spellman concluded with: "What people need to recognize is, and it makes me really want to get into the show: The shit is alive and real today. I think people have got to stop pretending that slavery was something that happened and went away... [this is] a story that allows us to now dramatize it in a more tangible matter."
Whether this changes people's minds about the controversial premise remains to be seen, but some people are keeping a "wait and see" attitude.
HBO Conferderate: Nichelle Tramble & Malc Spellman... both politically astute & smart. They wouldn't agree to crazy. https://t.co/Tp1Ov8hFu4— Keith Josef Adkins (@keithjosef) July 20, 2017
Then again, both Spellmans deleted their accounts on Twitter the day after the announcement:
The fact that Malcolm Spellman and Nichelle Tramble Spellman deleted their Twitter accounts a day after the press release speaks volumes. https://t.co/G7v8g0XVVf— April (@ReignOfApril) July 21, 2017