‘Escaping the KKK’ docuseries canceled by A&E after payment controversy
There is even more controversy happening now within the world of A&E, but after this latest announcement, we’re not sure how much more will follow … at least when it comes to “Escaping the KKK,” a docuseries (originally titled “Generation KKK”) all about people trying to find a way to escape the infamous hate group.
Today, the network confirmed that they have canceled the show, with them saying in a statement (per The Hollywood Reporter) that this decision stems mostly from them learning that producers who worked on the project may have made payments in order to get access to some of the people at the center of the show:
“Our goal with this series has always been to expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms … However, A&E learned last night from the third-party producers who made the documentary that cash payments — which we currently understand to be nominal — were made in the field to some participants 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. 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.”
We certainly give the network credit from walking back so many of their plans to air this after learning the news, though at the same time you have to wonder why anyone would think that Klan members were willing to be filmed for free, given that the documentary probably wasn’t going to be a positive one.
Even before this news, the documentary was under fire for even giving some people within the Klan a platform, even if it wasn’t a positive one. There is that expression that “any publicity is good publicity,” and it easily could’ve turned out to be the case here.
Do you think the network made the right move, or should this have always been their plan? Share in the comments below. (Photo: A&E.)