The Church of Scientology issued a statement to A&E for continuing to air Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath after a KKK docuseries was canceled.
The Church of Scientology released a statement in response to A&E’s move to cancel a Ku Klux Klan docuseries after the network found out that show producers had extended payments to some project participants, while deciding to maintain the broadcast schedule of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. The Escaping the KKK docuseries was canceled before it began broadcasting, with the network stating that cash payments were “a direct violation of A&E’s policies and practices for a documentary.”
On December 28, 2016, Gary S. Soter, a lawyer for the Church of Scientology, criticized A&E, stating that the network is hypocritical for canceling the KKK show, while still maintaining and actively promoting the anti-Scientology documentary, to which ex-Scientologist Leah Remini is an executive producer. He argues that A&E also paid participants of Remini’s documentary, which, according to A&E’s statement about Escaping the KKK, should be grounds for cancellation.
The letter, obtained by TMZ, reads in part: “Church of Scientology International understands that two on-air accusers/participants in Leah Remini’s docuseries, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, received substantial cash payments for their participation, in violation of the same standards. … It is hypocritical for A&E to proclaim its intent to ‘expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms’ in cancelling the KKK show and at the same time promote Leah Remini’s program which promotes hatred that A&E claims that it wants to stop.”
The letter also goes into detail on the threats the Church has received promoting “the hatred that
A&E claims that it wants to stop.” Since the show first aired in November 2016, over 100 messages of hate speech and over 50 threats of death or violence are on record.
When asked for further comment by Variety, The Church of Scientology did not add to the statements, stating simply that “the letter speaks for itself”. A&E declined to comment on whether participants in the series were paid apart from Remini herself.