Despite the widespread criticism that was heaped atop Game of Thrones' eighth and final season on HBO, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are obviously still a hot commodity in Hollywood for adapting the fantasy epic that became one of the most popular shows on TV during its run. Thus, it was a natural move for them to jump to an exclusive deal with Netflix, but their first announced project – an adaptation of Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem series – has already faced some backlash from Republican senators, and one in particular has more recently slammed the streaming giant's defensive statement on the matter.
The main problem that the aforementioned senators have raised complaints over is author Liu Cixin's publicly stated viewpoints about China's treatment of its Uyghur population, which is mostly made up of those in the Muslim faith. It's estimated that around one million Uyghurs have been gathered and confined in internment camps in Xinjiang, which has been seen as a highly controversial method of forced assimilation. Back in 2019, Liu defended the Chinese government in an interview by saying it was 'helping their economy and trying to lift them out of power,' which are commonly cited opinions that aren't necessarily backed up by facts.
The five senators – including Marsha Blackburn, Martha McSally, Rick Scott, Kevin Cramer, and Thom Tillis – complained about the Three-Body Problem adaptation through a letter to Netflix that called execs out for working with Liu Cixin and for seeming to turn a blind eye to what they deep to be human rights abuses. Netflix's response to that letter made clear that the company did not agree with those comments, and that Liu is merely the novels' author and not the creator of the TV adaptation. And here's how Blackburn responded to Netflix's defense, according to Variety:
For comparison, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss definitely worked with George R.R. Martin throughout putting Game of Thrones together as a TV show. Not just in the earliest stages, but right up through the final season. Granted, part of that communication was due to Martin's novel series not being finished yet, but even if it had been, the showrunners would have still likely leaned on the author for insights and secrets. One could easily assume that Benioff and Weiss were also planning on talking to Liu about the streaming adaptation of The Three-Body Prolem, but it'll be hard to make that happen now without kicking up some dirt.
Marsha Blackburn also added the below:
While there are no doubt many that would agree with Marsha Blackburn's statements there, the senator has also attracted her own fair share of blowback over the years for her own controversial political views. Blackburn previously agreed with President Donald Trump's ideas to put a ban on Muslim immigration. As well, she spoke out in opposition to school classes in Tennessee providing lessons on the history of Islam. (To say nothing of anti-LGBTQ votes and others.)
This isn't the first post-Game of Thrones project that has attracted shocked reactions for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The duo were previously crafting an alternate history drama titled Confederate, which would have taken place in a world where the U.S. Civil War did not have any clear victors. For better or worse, that project was went kaput in 2019 and was officially cancelled. But will the same thing happen with The Three-Body Problem?
For now, stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on this issue and more, and head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way soon.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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