- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2017


The cadence of Hollywood continues, as does Tinseltown’s reputation as the greatest of America’s imitation of life.

What if Maryland’s Larry Hogan, a Republican, had the second-highest approval rating of any governor — behind only fellow Republican Charlie Baker in Massachusetts? (Mr. Hogan has a 73 percent approval; Mr. Baker, 75 percent.) Both states are blue.

What if slavery were as alive and intact today as it was in 1861, when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated prior to the South winning the war?

What if the roots of the KKK were planted in the North — in, say, Massachusetts, birthplace of the American Revolution? Or Vermont, the first state to abolish slavery but during the heady days of the 1960s becomes the first to reinstate it?



Fiction of the unbelievable kind?

Most of the above are all of the above, and could soon becoming to a small screen via HBO.

That’s right, HBO will again jump into the race for top TV dramas with a series currently titled “Confederate,” and it has some moneymaking, award-winning powerhouses behind the project.

The incredible imaginations of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, creators of fantastical “Game of Thrones,” are on board as producers, and the two said a series that posits post-Civil War America has been in their dreams for quite some time.

To ensure the black perspective isn’t totally whitewashed, a black wife-husband team are upfront as well: writer-producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman (CBS’ “The Good Wife”) and Malcolm Spellman (Fox’s “Empire”).

HBO sketched its vision for the show in a press release, saying the events in “Confederate” will lead to a “Third American Civil War, and characters will be “on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone.”

Of course, the characters in “Confederate” will be drawn along the lines of history — slaves and slave hunters, politicians and abolitionists, and freedom fighters and journalists.

Oh, and get this. “Confederate” also will have characters representing “the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate.”

Say what?

See, “Confederate” hopes to bring us right up to modern-day, when some dozen states are slave states.

I wouldn’t be surprised if “Confederate” also looks through several other old-school lenses as it envisions today’s America such as rape, brokeback America and women being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen 9-5. (Think the red-cloaked breeders in the increasingly popular Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the adaptation of a Margaret Atwood novel.)

Dystopia in the hands of Hollywood is tricky — especially when it’s wrapped up with a bow that simultaneously depicts history and speculation — creative license, if you will.

Americans already are trying to rip reminders of the Civil War off American landscapes — as if the Civil War never happened and the North didn’t win.

While it’s easy to raise the question “why not?” it’s also easy to say why not.

Folks are going to complain however they answer.

The most honest-answer positions to take is “what is the way forward?” and “how do we peacefully get there?”

The Italian-American community was up in arms prior to “The Sopranos” hitting HBO’s airwaves, but the show and its over-stereotyped characters won out.

On the other hand, Ken Burns isn’t leading the way on “Confederate” to stick to the facts.

Besides, if the South had won the Civil War, who knows?

The KKK — whose originals were members of the Democratic Party — might never have donned white robes and hoods.

The cadence, you see, is biased: “Left. Left. Left right left.”

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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