A&E Cans KKK Series After Learning Subjects Were Paid

Generation KKK A&E

A&E finally canceled its controversial docuseries on the Ku Klux Klan- but not because of the backlash.

When the series was commissioned, A&E's general manager Rob Sharenow said the series would be an "ugly" but "important" look at the KKK.

Set to premiere January 10, "Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America" is an eight-part documentary that looks at the lives of several families involved with the KKK, and efforts to help some members of those families extricate themselves from the hate group. "Our goal with this series has been to expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms", A&E said in a statement.

The network statement said the payments, though "understood to be nominal", were nevertheless "a direct violation of A&E's policies and practices for a documentary".

The network had previously told civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Color of Change, that it had not given any payments to "hate group members". With all of the bad publicity--and now this monetary issue coming to light, it's easy to see why A&E has made a decision to cancel the project. The title was changed from "Generation KKK" to "Escaping the KKK" in order to better convey that the show was documentary journalism rather than reality television, according to the Huffington Post. Originally, the program was expected to be called Generation KKK, but earlier this week A&E even backtracked on that, retitling the documentary.

"A&E takes the authenticity of its documentary programming and the subject of racism, hatred and violence very seriously", the statement added.

The show, later renamed Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America, was supposed to follow family members who work with anti-hate "extractors" in order to help themselves or their family leave the KKK. We will still seek to fight hate in America through on-air programming including town halls and documentary programs produced in partnership with civil rights organizations.to facilitate a deeper dialogue on ending hate. In the trailer, a Klan member can be seen saying "I wanna be the next David Duke".

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