Sky to Air Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' in U.K., Ireland in September

Courtesy of Sundance International Film Festival
'Going Clear'

"'Going Clear' is a brilliantly compelling film that unflinchingly probes the secretive world of Scientology through powerful testimony and a beautifully crafted narrative," says a Sky executive.

Sky said Wednesday that it will air Scientology documentary Going Clear in September.

The pan-European pay TV giant has been holding off on setting an air date as it was reviewing its plans amid concerns that the airing could cause legal issues in Northern Ireland. Sky originally planned to air the doc in April but put those plans on ice because Northern Ireland is not subject to Britain's 2013 Defamation Act, which observers said could expose Sky to libel claims there.

The doc, which has already been screening in British theaters, will air on the company's Sky Atlantic network across the U.K., including Northern Ireland, and Ireland next month, the pay TV giant said Wednesday.

"Sky will premiere Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief on Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. on Sky Atlantic," the company said. "The documentary, which has attracted widespread critical acclaim, is a Sky Atlantic co-production from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney."

Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, Going Clear was produced by Jigsaw Productions for Sky Atlantic.

Scientology has said the doc was "biased, one-sided" and contains "numerous inaccuracies."

"Going Clear is a brilliantly compelling film that unflinchingly probes the secretive world of Scientology through powerful testimony and a beautifully crafted narrative," said Celia Taylor, head of nonscripted commissioning at Sky. "I am extremely proud of it."

Zai Bennett, director of Sky Atlantic, added: "I’m hugely proud that Sky Atlantic has co-produced Going Clear, especially in light of its recent success gaining seven Emmy nominations. I’m sure that Sky audiences will be captivated by Alex Gibney’s remarkable film."

The company didn't immediately announce plans to air the doc on Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, which it acquired from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox late last year. Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky.

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