Amazon is going alternative.
The streaming service is developing an alt-history drama called “Black America” about newly freed African Americans who have secured Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama after the Civil War as reparations for slavery, according to Deadline.
The new nation, called New Colonia, has found 20 years of peace after 150 years of “military incursions, assassinations, regime change (and) coups” and is now ready to “join the ranks of major industrialized nations on the world stage as America slides into rapid decline. Inexorably tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance.”
“Black America” will be produced by Will Packer (“Girls Trip,” “Ride Along”) and Aaron McGruder (“The Boondocks,” “Black Jesus”).
HBO urges patience amid ‘Confederate’ protest over slavery show
The news comes less than a week about HBO announced its own alternative history drama, “Confederate.”
The show, from “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, will take place in an alternate universe in which southern states successfully seceded, which gave “rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution.”
“Confederate” will follow characters on both sides of the drama, or the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone, including freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists and the “executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.”
An online protest on Sunday night argued that the show was romanticizing slavery.
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In response to the backlash, HBO urged fans to wait for more details.
“We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate,” the network said in a statement.
“We have faith that Nichelle, Dan, David, and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity. The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”
Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, made a similar request last week.
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“Everyone understands there is a high degree of getting this right…If you can get it right, there is real opportunity to advance the racial discussion in America,” Bloys told the Hollywood Reporter.
“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 and health care and draw the line to our past and shared history, that’s an important line to draw and a conversation worth having. (The producers) acknowledge this has a high degree of difficulty. It’s a risk worth taking.”
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