Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lincoln Anthony Blades: ‘Why HBO’s “Confederate” Is Completely Unnecessary’

From Teen Vogue:

HBO has officially announced that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be producing a new series for the network called Confederate. The program is described as a reimagined America in which the South successfully seceded from the Union and kept slavery in place. In this alternate American universe, the Mason-Dixon line becomes a militarized zone full of freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, and journalists, prior to a third Civil War....

My ... initial reaction to the news [was] ... sheer bewilderment as to why two incredibly successful white showrunners felt that in this nation — with its sordid history and current inability to collectively grapple with even the most factual truths of slavery — this is the story most important to tell. I can’t understand why, throughout the vast options of different artistic directions, they decided that revisiting black pain, and further extending the concept of how a black body can be successfully dehumanized, was the best route to go. It’s also very telling that the creators of a show that has been routinely criticized for its lack of diversity are attempting to seriously construct a world inherently tied to blackness, when they've been unable to even introduce complex characters of color into the fantasy world of Game of Thrones.

“There is an expansive pantheon of valuable shows/movies depicting African-American life, such as The Color Purple, Glory, and Roots, to name a few. These have proved to be important works of art that have pushed forward black history, propagated black culture, and presented American society with tough truths and even tougher questions — and based on what we know about the show so far, Confederate doesn’t have the feeling of any of that. It feels like a gratuitous and pointless exploitation of our current racial divide, and something that will likely lack nuance and thoughtfulness. In truth, my reaction to this news was simply that Confederate may be the most unnecessary series ever created.”

Read the entire article. 

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