Accuracy in Media

Bree Newsome, who in 2015 climbed the flagpole at the South Carolina state capital to remove the Confederate battle flag, also is not thrilled with the new HBO Show “Confederate.”

The show, to be headed by David Benioff and D.B. Weisswhich, creators of “Game of Thrones,” imagines an alternate history in which the South won the Civil War. Not necessary, Newsome wrote in a piece for The Washington Post.

“We don’t need a TV show about the Confederacy winning,” she wrote. “In many ways, it did.”

Newsome calls the show “completely tone-deaf to historical reality” and says “slavery never ended — because it never really did,” before launching into a diatribe about how modern-day mass incarceration disproportionately affects minorities.

We can debate sentencing policy, but people in prison are not slaves. Unless wrongfully convicted, their actions put them there.

She then proceeds to complain about Game of Thrones because the creators “didn’t see fit to cast black actors in their current show for any roles other than slaves who are freed by a white savior.”

Most of the story in Game of Thrones takes place on the continent of Westeros, which is inspired by medieval Europe. The other continent, Essos, is based on the Middle East and has several minority characters. One of the white main characters did free the non-white slaves in Essos, but many of those freed slaves have gone on to become important characters in the show. There are also a handful of black characters who never were slaves.

She goes on to complain “In the show’s seven-season run, not a single episode has been written or directed by a person of color.” Clearly the writing/directing team is doing fine as it’s the most pirated TV show of all time. Given Newsome’s objections to the characters and show, would a change in off-screen personnel make a real difference?

She ends with this: “Imagining a world where the Confederacy won, where the legacy of slavery is fresh and the terror of it ever-present may seem like fantasy for white creatives. But ask most black people living in the United States today. They’ll tell you it’s their reality.”

Let’s ask Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson or Tim Scott if they agree.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.


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