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Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof addressed the use of the 1921 Tulsa race riot to launch into HBO's remix of writer Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons' revered graphic novel as well as how he feels about Moore's active disinterest in people adapting his work.
During HBO's portion of the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Wednesday, NPR television critic Eric Deggans asked Lindelof about the show's pilot, which starts with the race riots — where white people destroyed the Greenwood district of Tulsa, aka Black Wall Street, and killed upward of 300 residents — and then pivots to an alternate history where police officers are being hunted by white supremacists. Given the numerous instances of police violence against people of color, what is Lindelof hoping to say with the show?
Lindelof - Years - Ta-Nehisi - Coates - Case
Lindelof answered that a few years ago he read Ta-Nehisi Coates' "The Case for Reparations," which was the first time he heard of Black Wall Street and what happened there. "That was the beginning of my education," he said.
When he started thinking about what his Watchmen was going to be, he thought about the political content in the original book, which was about what was happening in American culture in 1986 as seen through the eyes of two Englishmen. "What in 2019 is the equivalent of the nuclear standoff between the Russians and the United States?" Lindelof said. "And it just felt like it was undeniably race and policing in America. And so that idea started to graft itself into the Watchmen universe."
Lindelof - Things - Watchmen - History - Version
Lindelof said that one of the amazing things about the original Watchmen is that you might not know what is actual history and what is a false, alternate version of history, and then you see both sides got blended and muddied in the middle. He wanted to explore race...
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