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How does HBO’s ‘Confederate’ compare with past controversial TV and film?




A member of the Ku Klux Klan holds a Confederate flag over his face during a rally, calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monument.
A member of the Ku Klux Klan holds a Confederate flag over his face during a rally, calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monument.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

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HBO has a new show called “Confederate,” which gives the audience a look at what life would be like if the Confederacy had won the Civil War, and slavery was never abolished.

While the show is still in the early stages of production, protests have already started. The showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who are also showrunner “Game of Thrones,” have taken criticism from the public over their lack of diverse casting for GOT. Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman have been recruited to write “Confederate,” but how they handle the delicate subject matter remains to be seen. How do you feel about the idea behind “Confederate”? Is slavery a topic that should be off limits in this context? Where do you draw the line as an audience member when choosing controversial shows?

Guest:

Debra Birnbaum, executive editor for TV at Variety Magazine; she wrote the Variety article, “HBO on #NoConfederate Campaign: ‘We Hope People Will Reserve Judgment’”