The Urban Breakdown
Episode 3

POLI-TRICKS: Confederacy, If Merc Was President, and More...

F. Khristopher Blue published on

HBO is fighting to keep Confederate alive amid intense media backlashfrom people like New York Times columnist Roxanne Gay, who described the premise of the show as “slavery fan fiction.”

“My exhaustion with the idea of Confederate is multiplied by the realization that this show is the brainchild of two white men who oversee a show that has few people of color to speak of and where sexual violence is often gratuitous and treated as no big deal,” Gay wrote, referring to the lack of diversity criticism often lobbed at Game of Thrones.

“I shudder to imagine the enslaved black body in their creative hands,” she added.

Husband and wife co-executive producers of the show Malcolm Spellman (Empire) and Nichelle Tramble-Spellman (The Good Wife), who are black, have been criticized for participating in Confederate’s conception, but defended their creative vision.

“The project is not antebellum imagery,” Malcolm Spellman told NPR. “It’s not whips, it’s not plantations, it’s not a celebration or pornography for slavery. And, most importantly, it’s not an entire nation of slaves.”

HBO recently released the following statement on the issue:

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.

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