Church of Scientology Calls A&E "Hypocritical" for Pulling KKK Series
The Church's lawyer wrote a letter criticizing the network's decision to pull the controversial Klu Klux Klan docuseries while continuing to air Leah Remini's 'Scientology and the Aftermath.'
Shortly after the cancellation of their planned KKK docuseries, A&E is again coming under fire from the Church of Scientology.
As reported by TMZ, a letter from the Church's lawyer, Gary Soter, criticizes the network's decision to pull the KKK documentary after learning third-party producers of the project made cash payments in the field to some participants to facilitate access. Escaping the KKK (originally titled Generation KKK) was intended to serve as a close look at anti-hate extractors focused on helping people leave the Ku Klux Klan.
The network is also home to former Scientology member Leah Remini's nonfiction series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and has received multiple threatening letters from the Church surrounding the docuseries.
In the letter released Wednesday, Soter alleges that "two on-air accusers/participants in Leah Remini's docuseries, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath received substantial cash payments for their participation, in violation of the same standards."
The letter goes on to call the network "hypocritical" while it "proclaims its intent to 'expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms' in cancelling the KKK show" and is "at the same time promot[ing] Leah Remini's program which promotes hatred that A&E claims that it wants to stop." (See the letter in full here.)
In Remini's eight-episode series, which premiered Nov. 29, the actress who broke from the Church in 2013 and former Scientologist Mark Rinder speak to other ex-members who allege experiences of abuse and harassment during and after leaving the Church.
"This cult or another cult, I don't want people to feel powerless because something seems more powerful than you," Remini said in the most recent episode, where she encouraged those watching to "do something."
The Church released a lengthy response to the show when it premiered, which can be read here. Ahead of each segment, Scientology and the Aftermath airs a title card declaring the Church "challenges the credibility" of the series and directs viewers to visit the A&E website to view the numerous letters the network has received from the Church in response to the information being aired during the series' run.
In the show, Remini, as she has done in the past, asserts that she won't back down.
"It doesn't intimidate me, it makes me want to retaliate because I'm not going to f—ing stand for it," she said on the Dec. 27 episode when she discovered she was being followed by private investigators.
The Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A&E declined to comment on the story.