America is probably the only country in the world that would give domestic terrorists a television show and call it entertainment. Reality TV has made anything and everything possible for mass viewing no matter how ridiculous, stupid, perverse, or discussing the subject is. The latest such show is a reality series starring the most notorious terrorist organization in history. The Ku Klux Klan. The A&E network was all set to air its latest and perhaps most controversial show starring the Ku Klux Klan entitled “Escaping the KKK”, a docu-series that was going to follow people attempting to extricate themselves from the Ku Klux Klan. Although the series received massive criticism, it was only cancelled after the network discovered that participants were paid, a violation of the network’s policies. But apparently giving air time to terrorists without paying them is okay.
The network stated that cash payments, which 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”.
In response to the cancellation, Color of Change issued a statement:
“One of the many conditions for Color Of Change’s involvement was that none of the on-air participants were being paid. It was the first commitment A&E made to us and we made it clear when we agreed to support content and marketing changes that we would withdraw if participants were paid. With this new information, canceling the show is the only acceptable decision.
On the eve of the inauguration of a president whose campaign was fueled by white supremacists, some of whom will work in his Administration, A&E has a lot of work to do if it plans to make a significant contribution in helping to repair the damage. A mess that cannot easily be cleaned up by having town halls and airing PSAs. This is an opportunity to increase the diversity of creative talent, invest more deeply in narrative, content and stories that uplift communities that are often in the cross hairs of racist systems and structures, and center communities more broadly that are so often misrepresented and underrepresented by mainstream media.”
A&E said the cancellation of the series doesn’t mean they won’t seek other ways to expose and “fight racism”.
“Just because this particular show goes away, the issues of hate in America do not. 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, as well as continue to work with the civil rights community to facilitate a deeper dialogue on ending hate through comprehensive educational and outreach campaigns,” the company said.