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Amazon and HBO have their own Civil War over alternate history



You'd expect entertainment giants like Amazon and HBO to fight over viewers, not alternate Civil War timelines.

HBO and Amazon are currently both developing “alternate history” TV shows that take place in the same time period, and Twitter has blown up about both programs.

"Confederate" is an upcoming HBO show that imagines what would have happened if the South had managed to secede during the Civil War and slavery had continued. It is set to be run by “Game of Thrones” show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Amazon will offer a different viewpoint. In show-runner Will Packer's version, the southern states have still seceded, but that land was offered up as reparations for slavery.

In this alternate history, known as "Black America," newly freed African-Americans live in "New Colonia," and have recently enjoyed 20 years of peace with the U.S. to the north.

"Confederate" immediately encountered backlash, inspiring the hashtag #NoConfederate on Twitter.

HBO then issued a statement to CNN stating that “we have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around 'Confederate.'"

"We have faith that Nichelle, Dan, David and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity," the statement added.

"The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”

Both shows place their alternate histories in a modern setting, but with very different institutions in place.

One shows a new country with a population of former slaves that rose up to become a newly industrialized nation, while the U.S. slides into decline.

The other deals with how a country that institutionalizes the slavery of an entire race survives in the modern era while on the brink of a “Third Civil War."

They’re not only fighting about the same area of history between the two companies - HBO will not be renewing the current contract it has with Amazon at the end of 2018.

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