When HBO announced their upcoming venture with two showrunners from Game Of Thrones, a series called Confederate that imagines a reality wherein slavery is still legal in the United States, the backlash was fairly immediate. The network was criticized right away by many for both the concept and for giving two white men the task of bringing the show to air. Days after HBO made headlines for their Civil War-themed show, Amazon made headlines for theirs — but likely for better reasons.
The concept of Amazon’s new show, Black America, stands in almost total opposition to that of HBO’s series. Not only does Black America have ties to black producers and creators (notably, Straight Outta Compton producer Will Packer and The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder), but the show depicts a post-Reconstruction America wherein former slaves have acquired three states as reparations — a concept that will likely resonate with African American audiences.
Parker explained to Deadline, “You would be hard pressed to find many black Americans who have not thought about the concept of reparation, what would happen if reparations were actually given.”
Amazon actually made references to their show back in February. Some have wondered whether HBO felt pressure to beat Amazon to the punch. But HBO’s eagerness has backfired, at least for now. And while HBO is beloved to many a GOT fan, it may be no match for Amazon.
According to Business Insider, 40% of men between the ages of 18 and 34 prefer to do all of their shopping online. It’s no surprise, then, that Amazon continues to grow as an e-commerce giant. And while $1.1 trillion worth of sales in 2011 were web-influenced, the e-commerce market made up only 8.7% of the entire worldwide retail market in 2016. Therefore,The Spokesman-Review reports, Amazon still has a ton of room to expand. The company’s market value recently reached almost $465 billion, but many are saying it can still go up from there. Since they’ve started branching out into cloud computing, AI devices, TV shows, and more, there’s no telling how big Amazon could get.
For now, much of the direct excitement for consumers is entertainment-related. However, neither Black America nor Confederate will premiere until 2019 , so eager audiences will have to wait a while before they see who comes out on top.