You may have heard that the next HBO project from “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss is an alternate-history story of the Civil War.

HBO description:

CONFEDERATE chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.”

On Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, HBO president Casey Bloys admitted that the network botched the announcement of its controversial new slavery-focused TV series.
“File this under hindsight is 20/20. If I could do it over again, HBO’s mistake — not the producers’ — was the idea that we would be able to announce an idea that is so sensitive that requires such care and thought on the part of the producers in a press release was misguided on our part. [We] had the benefit of sitting with these four producers — [Benioff, Weiss, Nichelle Tramble Spellman (Justified) and Malcolm Spellman (Empire)] — we heard why they wanted to do the show, what they were excited about, and why it was important to them, so we had that context, but I completely understand that somebody reading the press release would not have that at all. If I had to do it over again, I would’ve rolled it out with the producers on the record so people understood where they were coming from.”
Bloys hopes fans will give the show a chance once they have more insight into what the creators are actually planning to explore.

“The bet for us is on our talent — on Nichelle, Malcolm, Dan, and David; they’re going to be the difference. My hope is that people will judge the actual material as opposed to what it could be, should be, or might be, and they — and we — will rise or fall based on the quality of that material. … These four writers are at the top of their game; they can do whatever they want. This is what they’re passionate about, so I’m going to bet on that.”

“I think Malcolm said it best in one of his interviews: ‘This is weapons-grade material we’re dealing with,Everybody understands that there’s a high degree of difficulty with getting this right. But the thing that excites them that excited us is if you can get it right, there’s a real opportunity to advance the race discussion in America. Again, what Malcolm said in one of his interviews was, ‘If you can draw a line between what we’re seeing in the country today with voter suppression, mass incarceration, lack of access to public education or healthcare, and draw a direct line between that and our past and our shared history, that’s an important line to draw and a conversation worth having.’ So it is very difficult, and they acknowledge there’s a high degree of difficulty, but they all feel — and we support them — that it’s a risk worth taking.”

HBO’s ‘Confederate‘ Producers Respond to the Backlash – Vulture