KKK Docuseries Cancelled at A&E

A&E’s planned documentary series focused on the Klu Klux Klan isn’t happening, after all.

The cable network has cancelled the reality series before it even debuted, citing violations of A&E’s documentary policy made by “third-party producers,” per The Hollywood Reporter.

The axed project was to follow four prominent Klan families who each have a family member trying to escape the organization. On Friday, following criticism — including some from Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo — A&E changed the series’ name from Generation KKK to Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America.

“Our goal with this series has always been to expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms. However, A&E learned last night from the third-party producers who made the documentary that cash payments — which we currently understand to be nominal — were made in the field to some participants in order to facilitate access,” the network said in a statement.

It continued: “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.”

The network also said it “will still seek to fight hate in America through on-air programming” and that it will “continue to work with the civil rights community” to end hate.

What do you think about the series’ cancellation? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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73 Comments
  1. Spence says:

    Just watch Fox News coverage of the Trump presidency for a KKK docuseries.

      • GregJ. says:

        Agreed. I can’t believe A&E thought that this was a good idea considering how fractured the country has been in decades. Shame on you for wanting to promote something so evil and wrong. God Bless the person who thought this would be a great idea and to those people who approved it.

        • Ashley says:

          I don’t necessarily think that this series was a good idea, but I don’t understand why people are assuming that its intent was to promote or normalize the KKK. I see no reason to not believe A&E whey they say the goal was to “expose and combat racism.”

          There have been many documentaries about may horrible issues, and they aren’t all released to claims that they promote the subject matter.

          • rinaex says:

            I think that the concern started with a review from a tv critic who saw the first four episodes and got the impression that they WERE trying to turn some KKK members into wacky TV characters.

          • NotAnselAdams says:

            Sure, because when people say, “I really hate all people who aren’t like me, but inside I have a heart of gold!” … that’s really not normalizing white supremacists.

    • ANgelo says:

      And this was meant to show people how those that came up in the KKK how to escape it and that there is a life outside of it… Fox, CNN, none of them can help with that.

    • TDXI says:

      You do know the people committing all these shootings , murders and rapes don’t look a lot like Trump, but they look a hell of a lot like Obama.

      • Bolt says:

        You are a clown…white people commit murder, routes, and shootings everyday.just like every race. White on white crime, black on black cover, Asian on Asian. You are embarrassing to intelligent society. Go in the narrow hole you come out of and rotate underneath it.

      • Tim Church says:

        As do the folks on “Black-ish”. However, that is fictional, whereas many who voted for Trump did so b/c they backed his honestly when he said what many of them believe/think.

      • fastmovingcloud says:

        You pulled that directly from either our ass or Breitbart…same thing.

    • The Dude says:

      Wow, the babies crying and virtue signaling is pure gold! If you don’t agree with us then you’re automatically a racist. The only way to shame any supremacy group is to shine a light on these fools, but we can’t allow this because it would hurt our delicate fee fees.

      • Gary Harms says:

        For one thing, you can’t shame a supremacy group, it is comprised of hate and ignorance, it knows no shame. Second, this isn’t a case of “hurt fee fees” it’s a case of intelligence. Which might be why you feel so offended being excluded as you are.

    • Bella says:

      This smearing and sneering is why the Democrats have lost the Senate, Congress, the White House, and governorships and state legislatures across the country over the last 8 years. The KKK does not represent us.

  2. CA Bolton says:

    I am soooo glad. This just wasn’t a good idea.

  3. PitchGirl says:

    Well Done A&E…

  4. Gary Harms says:

    A&E redeemed itself….a little bit. You’ll never live down Honey Boo Boo and your part in dumbing down America though.

  5. schu says:

    I would venture to guess that in no way A&E was going to use this series to glorify the KKK. I really would hope to believe their intent was truthful and it’s a shame they caved to Hollywood politics, it seems all too convenient now to use payment excuses to cancel the production. I think you could refer to Intervention for A&E’s desire to show the dark reality of some forms of American life. I in no way support the ideals of the KKK, but I think exposure to how families can be coerced and brainwashed into certain lifestyles could have been educational.

    • ? says:

      The concern is that the KKK would nevertheless profit from the exposure, whether directly paid by the program or from “celebricizing” the participants to likeminded others who will then seek out and support them.

    • S says:

      Completely agree. The whole point of this series was seemingly meant to shine a light on the secrecy of the KKK, and see inside the minds of these idiots and their idiologies. Instead, A&E just helped fund members of the KKK for no reason? SMRT

      • S. says:

        Might wanna go back and read the actual article considering the entire thing involved the exact opposite of what you just said. A&E isn’t the one who tried to fund them.

        • Tim Church says:

          And you’re proof of the network’s innocence regarding the payoff(s) is….? Right. Nonexistent.

          The article first says the network learned about violations were made by third parties. However, the network’s quoted statement within it says they learned about it from third parties. If you tell someone something they already know, their claim you told them isn’t lying.

    • rowan77 says:

      Apparently, people who saw the first few episodes in order to review the show found that the show didn’t succeed in showing the dark reality as much as showed some of these people as rascals and characters, which is what you do when you are a docuseries – you find the humanity and paint your leads in a stronger light – but to do that to KKK members does everyone a disservice. The show needed more context added around it (including re-editing, a separate town-hall show about the series and materials that you could look up and download in order to fulfill the idea that the show is shining a light on the reality of KKK members and their families. That means the show itself failed and they were looking for a way out of this. To find out, on top of that, that freelance producers paid KKK members to be interviewed or to give information was out A&E needed. They should have noticed that the show did not hit the mark much sooner. I don’t know who the current programing exec was who shepherded this through, but I’m thinking that his/her days are numbered at A&E.

  6. Yolo says:

    Knew it would never see the light of day.

  7. keniri says:

    Can anyone say: A&E are cowards? They’ll produce crap shows like Neighbors With Benefits and Duck Dynasty that glorifies redneck behavior and promoting Christianity but when it comes to shining light on racism, they cave? So what if people were paid to gain access to the KKK. How many people on these reality shows like Duck Dynasty and Gold Rush are paid for appearing on these shows? A&E ARE HYPPOCRITES.

    • Jacob says:

      those aren’t documentaries

    • Simon Jester says:

      Better late than never.

    • rowan77 says:

      If you read the Daily Beast article about the series, it failed to shine a light on the KKK and was more like a reality series than a docuseries. It failed in its mission, A&E scambled to create the context needed with the help of the ADL and another origanization I can’t accurately remember the name of, but ultimately it needed too much work to make it the show it was touted to be. Adding the fact that they ended up PAYING some KKK members – well I’m glad to see them do the right thing and let the show go unaired.

    • flutiefan says:

      I can’t listen to you when you can’t even spell the basis of your argument correctly.

  8. herman1959 says:

    Settled; thank you.

  9. Alex Meyer says:

    Good riddance. Nobody wants to see a KKK documentary series.

  10. Zee says:

    This is utter bs. So A&E does not have the guts to show this documentary? It may have helped some other people along the way, trying to get out of the cult to be encouraged to do so! Unless they weren’t sincere about its control!

  11. Elaine says:

    TVLine – it’s the Ku Klux Klan, no Klu Klux Klan.
    I can’t say I’m disappointed that this series was cancelled, but the “nominal” payments to hate group members seems kind of like a cop out explanation for cancelling.

  12. lrdslvrhnd says:

    Regardless of anything else, I hope this doesn’t adversely affect the efforts of the four people trying to get away from the life.

  13. Mark says:

    I understand the idea behind the documentary, but I think it’s good that it got cancelled.
    With the rise in reported hate crimes after Donald Trump was elected I think many people might have misunderstood, & viewed it more as a how to manual.

  14. giantslor says:

    A reality show publicizing and normalizing white supremacists? Sounds like the Trump presidency.

  15. popeye013 says:

    Im wondering where all this faux outrage was when CNN screened their docu on the KKK, or when VICE on HBO screened their docu…. Oh thats right, there wasn’t any.
    So why is A&E any different? idiots whining about how bad a show is, when they haven’t seen a single minute of it but jump on some pathetic bandwagon.
    I really hope this does get released, 18months of work deserves to be made available, regardless of the cry-baby precious snowflake attitude that 2016 will be pitifully remembered for!

  16. ANgelo says:

    The downside of this is the people who now won’t know how to escape that kind of environment who may have realized there is a way out after viewing this.

  17. flutiefan says:

    Right.

  18. Tim Church says:

    Here’s hoping a show, site, or something comes out with proof of the cash payments. Otherwise, A&E had no reason to cancel this series which (if anything) was going to help people & their perspective on white supremacists & the like, the way “Escaping Polygamy”, “Breaking The Faith”, or whatever that one was called did.

  19. TDXI says:

    I guess some people are scared of others seeing just how good the Klan is. You have to remember in the days of the Klan you didn’t have 20 or so gangbangers hanging around dealing on the corner, okay you had one hanging from a post or tree, but that was enough and the streets were a lot safer.

    • Doodaa says:

      Found the white supremacist. Listen buddy, the KKK harassed and killed black people. They burned crosses in front of black peoples homes. So read a book.

  20. geegee says:

    I dont understand how are most of you simply ok with outright censorship, even if it wasnt enforced by a law, but by societal pressure? Slamming and criticizing a production of any kind once it is public, I can understand, that is what drives the exchange of ideas – but actually asking for preventing something from being shown in the first place, and being happy that the efforts worked… how is that ultimately good for a society?

    Where do you draw the line of prevention from bad influences? I am stumped by the fact that many of you would claim to be true democrats.

    And to anyone who would try and explain how this is just a fight against “Trump’s racist Murica” – hey, you have all been electing governments that meddle and influence and wage pointless wars against states of different ethnicity from all over the world (yes, even before 9/11), are you saying you are all racists? Or is racism in your mind only when it concerns the citizens of USA of different skin color? Or is it not hate-filled crime when it’s directed against these ‘other’ people? Surely, you must see how hypocritical this seems to an outsider’s perspective.

    • Crys says:

      I appreciate your comment. But having just returned from holiday in South Africa one has to truly understand both sides of an argument. A&E was not censored as defined by our constitution; they have every legal right to release their content. WE as a society also have every right to express our discontent/disgust. In this new era of America MANY Americans (of ALL color, religions, etc) are making a conscious effort NOT to normalize racism, sexism, xenophobia because this country’s history was built on that. Someone choosing to censor themselves is not the same as the government dictating censorship. Ask the people of Russia or N. Korea.

      • geegee says:

        I am aware this is not legally-mandated censorship, which is why I said at the start “…not enforced by law.” As a matter of fact, coming from a society which has a long history of censorship, both by law and by pressure, I can tell you the outcome is not much different (no need to talk to Russians or North Koreans). Ideas are replaced by ideology in its worst sense. Punishments become an overcorrection on the side of destroying the person by any other mean except putting them in prison. The state can pretend to be a democracy, while the society does its dirty work of punishing the “unruly” – similar to how, KKK is legally allowed to exist in USA (as far as I am aware), but it is not allowed by the public to show a series about it?

        You can be a member of the KKK and not suffer any consequences, while talking about it in a non-desirable way you suffer at least some consequences? So, the act of “normalization” and its scope as decided by the current public opinion is de facto a bigger “crime” than actually spreading the hate and being involved with a hateful organization? How is this making any sense to you?

    • Doodaa says:

      Says the white boy who never dealt with racism. Shut up geegee. The KKK spreads hate.

      • geegee says:

        Wow, your assumptions (very wrong ones at that) betray how little you allow for any kind of discussion to take place unless complete agreement with your assumptions is voiced. Vicious circle.

        • The Dude says:

          Trust me geegee, not all Americans are as closed minded as these idiots. Some of us still believe the best way to battle racism and hate is to shine a light on it and have freedom of speech so people can make their own decisions. There is racism on all sides of the spectrum but these people like to repeat Hollywood and virtue signal in their own bubble and believe they are above it all before they have even seen a single second of this and judge on the facts of it.

      • Andrea says:

        @Doodaa, yes, the KKK spreads hate, but that’s not the point. One can read about the history of the organization, but it’s different to see how the organization still exists today. This was supposed to be about families, so we’re talking about generational issues and how people (the ones wanting to leave) try to break free from what they have likely been taught since birth. I’m not a fan of the concept of a “reality series,” but a documentary about this subject does have a place. It’s similar to studying about how people who believe in radical Islam often use the Internet to bring about acts of terror. Studying these types of issues is sometimes necessary in order to combat them.

  21. Cordell Garrett says:

    We did get a good Christmas after all

  22. A fan of TV says:

    I’m beyond thrilled. excellent decision. Giving this group any attention at all under the guise of entertainment was unnecessary.

  23. fiberlicious says:

    Nice dodge, A&E. I’ll bet at least one of those payments had A&E fingerprints.

  24. tahina says:

    Best Christmas gift for humanity.

  25. xvoorheesx says:

    This is pathetic and a bad precedent to set. Good to know that if a D-List celebrity doesn’t agree with a show that they can get it canceled under the blanket of a “policy” that probably every show breaks.

  26. TDXI says:

    Look at how many people have been shot and killed in chicongo this year or just over christmas alone and by the way it wasn’t the Klan doing the shootings.

    PS. Did you see those BLM idiots protesting about any of them getting shot? No me nietherI guess only cetain Black lives matter to them.

  27. Mimi says:

    I was looking forward to the series because I am so curious as to how these people talk, act and look and try to figure out what makes them tick. To me it would be like watching at a nature series about another species. Repugnant, yes but interesting. If they already got the money, it’s already done as repulsive as that is, but if they would actually stand to make money if it aired, I am happy that it will not.