Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss gave one of their first public talks since the show ended on Saturday, and fans were not pleased with what they had to say. The two writers appeared at the Austin Film Festival, discussing their process and admitting that they really did not have a lot of experience when they started. To many, this was infuriating.
Benioff and Weiss have been largely silent in the public eye since Game of Thrones Season 8 wrapped up earlier this year. The show's ending left many fans disappointed or even angry, as it did not take the time it needed in settlings its many plot lines. However, Benioff and Weiss argued that they did pretty well for guys with no experience.
So far, there is no footage of Benioff and Weiss' talk at the Austin Film Festival online. However, attendees have paraphrased their remarks on Twitter, and the responses are brutal. Already, other writers and lauded critics are calling out the duo for their rhetoric.
1000x THIS. If you’re given an unprecedented opportunity & hoard it all to yourself, you aren’t just an asshole, you’re ACTIVELY CAUSING HARM, reinforcing systemic barriers instead of dismantling them. Benioff & Weiss’s selfish short sightedness should never have been rewarded. https://t.co/ZQVvBt4HnK— M. Trota Fieriosa 🔥🍜📖🦄 (@GeekMelange) October 27, 2019
According to Twitter user Needle & Pen, Benioff said that author George R. R. Martin questioned their qualifications in their first meeting. Benioff admitted "we didn't have any," and that the duo had never worked in TV before.
"We don't know why he trusted us with his life's work," he added.
They also reportedly discussed their simple writing mistakes in the first pilot, which was ultimately re-shot, and their surprise that HBO moved forward anyone. The two stated openly that the learned everything about making TV as they went, from writing scripts to running an efficient set. They even said that the reason they never hired a full writing staff was "because we didn't know better."
Imagine being so smug and cocky that you hold an entire event to tell the audience" We didn't really give a shit about doing a good job with the story" https://t.co/ea9A8ZBTOT— Shiv Ramdas (@nameshiv) October 27, 2019
As the comments spread around social media, the outrage began to build. Many users wondered why Benioff and Weiss bothered to hold this panel if they were just going to be self-effacing the whole time. The pair had already skipped an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this summer.
A few users defended Benioff and Weiss, pointing out that the were simply copping to the philosophy of "fake it 'till you make it." Others argued that that was no longer a productive admission after all the chances Benioff and Weiss had to change their process, and all the interviews where they acted so self-assured.
Despite what we tell children, sometimes, honesty is not the best policy... https://t.co/6ZFhYxOcsg— Murked Bernardin (@marcbernardin) October 27, 2019
Some even wrote that this was a perfect example of privilege in action, as Benioff and Weiss are both straight white men.
"It is less about what they did than what they were allowed to do," wrote critic and screenwriter Marc Bernardin. "It's about who gets opportunity and who doesn't — and the reasons why those opportunities are conferred or denied."