Following a social media uproar and a name change, A&E announced that it is no longer moving forward with “Escaping the KKK.” In a statement released on Saturday, the cable channel explained that it learned from the documentary series’ third-party producers that certain participants received cash payments, characterized as “nominal,” in order to facilitate access.
“While we stand behind the intent of the series and the seriousness of the content, these payments are a direct violation of A&E’s policies and practices for a documentary,” the releases states. “We had previously provided assurances to the public and to our core partners — including the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change — that no payment was made to hate group members, and we believed that to be the case at the time. We have now decided not to move forward with airing this project.”
The series, originally titled “Generation KKK,” was described as a behind-the-scenes series look at four prominent Klan families, each of which had a member trying to escape the organization. Producers would also spotlight peace activists who tried to help members leave. The announcement of the show caused an uproar last week when the show was first revealed. Some argued that any series about the KKK, even about people leaving, normalized the hate group.
Another A&E show Leah Remini’s eight part series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath has been a rating juggernaut for the cable station. And as misguided as A&E’s KKK reality show is Ms. Remini’s show is a noble attempt at exposing the Scientology cult and its dangerous practices and grifting ways. It is a much watch.