STAND Letters to Advertisers

Scientologists are taking a stand against companies advertising during Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

Members of the Church of Scientology are reaching out to advertisers in an effort to urge them to boycott Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, a show running on the A&E network. The concerned Scientologists have stated the airing of the documentary series has caused detractors to make threats and perform acts of violence against church members. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath has been on the air for nearly a year, after debuting in November 2016.

Various versions of the action letter were sent to advertisers and ad buyers by the group Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND), including Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Geico. For these companies, copies of the letter were posted on the STAND website.

According to Wall Street Journal, a person working at an ad-buying firm confirmed that clients pulled ads from the Remini show “because of the public controversy surrounding it — not necessarily as a result of the letters.” However, Geico, whose ads also stopped appearing in commercial slots for the show, “did not respond to questions about whether the show’s content or the letters prompted its decision not to advertise on the show.” Chrysler and Anheuser-Busch declined to comment as well.

“Leah Remini’s hate campaign of religious bigotry in its first season alone generated more than 400 incidents of harassment, threats of violence and vandalism against our churches and members. The threat level has again risen, precisely coincident with A&E’s promotion and airing of the second season of this show, now spawning even more threats—bombings, murder and acts of physical violence,” says one STAND letter.

A Scientology spokeswoman stated that “advertisers are being written to educate them and expose the lies that A&E irresponsibly airs from a hateful Remini and her unvetted—albeit compensated—subjects.”

According to her, “Scientologists, like members of any religion or group being discriminated against, have every right to communicate their disgust at lies being spread about their religion.” She further noted that the show caused “an explosion in hate crimes, threats and even violence directed at Scientologists."

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