Ku Klux Klan: A&E Controversial Documentary Cancelled; Producers Paid Off Ku Klux Klan Members To Participate [Video]By Noi Ramirez, UniversityHerald Reporter
A&E canceled a controversial documentary series delving into the lives of the Ku Klux Klan, not due to the mounting backlash it has been getting but the network found producers of the show apparently paid off participants to gain access to the Klan's members.
The eight-part documentary series "Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America," originally titled "Generation KKK," as presented in an earlier report, was supposed to start airing on Jan. 10 and would follow several high-ranking Ku Klux Klan members and families of the white-supremacist group in Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee in the U.S. The show was abruptly pulled from the listings, not because of its controversial content but due to ethical concerns regarding the show's production, according to Vanity Fair.
Apparently, third-party producers did not only allegedly pay participants thousands of dollars to gain access and appear in the program, but Ku Klux Klan leaders also allege that the producers financed the construction of huge wooden crosses and Nazi swastikas that were later burned to allegedly add drama during production, Variety reported. The leaders also allege they were paid $500 to $600 for each day of filming.
Furthermore, filming for the supposed documentary was scripted from the very beginning. The participants from the Ku Klux Klan were told what to say as well as dramatize their "scenes" in front of the camera. Allegedly, they were asked to re-enact their camera shoots until the production team was satisfied, including distorting facts of their lives to fit the supposed documentary's narrative.
When A&E discovered these practices, they pulled the plug on the series and issued a statement why they did so. A&E's full statement can be read here. Accordingly, payouts done by the producers to Ku Klux Klan members, though nominal, were in direct violation of A&E's policies and practices for a documentary, the statement read.
The Ku Klux Klan, according to the Anti-Defamation League, has an estimated 3,000 to 8,000 members across the US.