Dec 29, 2016

Scientologists blast 'hypocritical' A&E for canceling KKK docuseries

By Andrew Blake
The Washington Times
December 29, 2016

Scientologists demanded “fair and equal treatment” from the A&E cable channel this week after company executives canceled plans to broadcast a controversial documentary series devoted to the Ku Klux Klan while continuing to air a program critical of their church.

The channel’s decision to pull the plug on its planned KKK series in light of recent complaints is hypocritical, an attorney for the Church said in a letter sent Tuesday to A&E, particularly given its reluctance to take similar action against the program “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”

A&E announced Christmas Eve that it had abruptly canceled plans to air a new docuseries, “Generation KKK,” after learning that a third-party production company had violated A&E policy by paying some of the program’s participants.

According to the Church of Scientology, A&E should act similarly on “Aftermath,” an eight-episode docuseries starring Ms. Remini, an actress and comedian who has been an outspoken critic of her former church since defecting in 2013 after nearly three decades.

Ms. Remini and others who appear in “Aftermath” have either received monetary compensation or “in-kind payments in the form of free advertising and promotion for anti-Scientology books they have published,” Church attorney Gary Soter said in Tuesday’s letter.

“This quid pro quo aimed at gaining access to these individuals is similar in effect — although more substantial — to the ‘nominal’ payments made to the Ku Klux Klan members which caused A&E to pull that series,” Mr. Soter wrote. “A&E has applied its policies and practices in an invidious and discriminatory manner. We can think of no justification for A&E’s hypocrisy.

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