On Wednesday, HBO announced that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ next show will be Confederate, which will take place in an alternate timeline where the South successfully seceded from the Union and formed its own nation, thus keeping the institution of slavery intact. That sounds like must-see TV, right?
After the announcement, many people collectively face-palmed at the fact that a show with this premise would actually be made. This criticism confused some, but thankfully The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr. is here to clear up any confusion as to why so many are so aggrieved.*
After sarcastically commending the Game of Thrones creators for “finally finding some roles for black people,” Wood went on to explain why Confederate’s very premise can be seen as tone-deaf and unnecessary.
“Can you even imagine such a strange reality?” Wood asked, feigning surprise. “A modern-day America where Confederate flags fly everywhere, where black people are treated like shit, and white supremacists run the country? Where do they come up with this stuff, man?”
“Why do we need this?” Wood continued. “We already have a show about black people working hard for no money, it’s called college basketball.”
Wood went on to plead with TV’s top creative minds to stop making shows with alternate timelines like Man in the High Castle, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Big Bang Theory—a show that, Wood quipped. exists in an alternate reality where nerds are fuckable.
Wood's segment ends with him jokingly pitching the only alternate timeline show that has promise: Bitch Better Have My Cotton, which imagines a world where society’s roles are reversed, with black people as slave masters and whites as the enslaved. Wood Jr. went on to encourage producers interested in bringing Bitch Better Have My Cotton to fruition to email this potential show’s unnamed writer at RWood78@BitchBetterHaveMyCottonTVShow.com. (Unfortunately, the address doesn’t actually work. I tried.)
As Trevor Noah, playing devil’s advocate, pointed out to Wood, Bitch Better Have My Cotton could never be a show that actually works. The very premise of it is too ridiculous for many of us to even imagine. While Noah made this point to set up some jokes, there’s a certain dark truth underlying it. Bitch Better Have My Cotton’s “reverse racism” premise really is too ridiculous for us to consider, even as fantasy. Rather, in a world where there are virtually no consequences when unarmed black men are murdered and those running for office can openly oblige people to "move back to Africa," it’s much easier for us to imagine a world where white supremacy conquers all, and that is perhaps the saddest thing that the existence of a show like Confederate will remind us of.
*Correction, July 21, 2017: This piece originally misspelled Roy Wood Jr.'s last name.