Make Me Smart With Kai and Molly

Answering your questions about the #NoConfederate campaign

Jennie Josephson Sep 19, 2017

April Reign was a guest on a recent episode of Make Me Smart. In 2015, she created the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which prompted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to examine the diversity of its members. Reign continues to influence conversations about casting in movies and television. 

More recently, she co-created the #NoConfederate hashtag to protest an upcoming HBO show “Confederate” by the creators of HBO’s mega-hit “Game of Thrones.” By upcoming, I mean it could take years for the show to even begin production. In the podcast, April explains why that was important to her, but some of you had your own questions.

1. How can a person protest something that doesn’t yet exist based on a press release?

2. How can we do an interview about the #NoConfederate protest when we’re also reading “The Man in the High Castle” as our book club selection? If they’re both alternate histories, what makes a potential TV show called “Confederate” more objectionable than a TV show about Nazis?

Kai and Molly share their answers in this week’s podcast, but I also wanted to share a bunch of articles and Twitter threads that I found helpful when this story first broke back in July. 

This piece in the New York Times by Roxane Gay and this article by Ta-Nehesi Coates in The Atlantic are two of the most eloquent takes on the issue. 

Here’s the Vulture interview with the four executive producers on “Confederate” where they share their feelings about the fierce reaction to HBO’s press release.

As for the second question, that’s something that we have to ask ourselves when we talk about our current Make Me Smart book selection, “The Man in the High Castle” by Philip K. Dick. But for me, no one has done a better job explaining the difference than Jermaine Spradley, executive editor of Bleacher Report. 

It’s a Twitter thread, so click through and keep scrolling down. 

I hope this provides some useful context for what I’m sure will be an ongoing discussion on our show and beyond. Your emails, tweets, Facebook posts and letters are my favorite part of this show, so keep ’em coming. 

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