A&E Responds to Condemnation of Upcoming KKK Docuseries + Releases 8-Minute Preview
Photo Credit: AP

A&E Responds to Condemnation of Upcoming KKK Docuseries + Releases 8-Minute Preview


Two days ago, we reported on this blog that the A&E Network announced an 8-part documentary series titled “Generation KKK,” which they said would give viewers “an unprecedented look at what it is like to be born into hate,” following four prominent Klan families who each have a family member trying to escape the Ku Klux Klan, while also following a network of anti-hate and peace activists working to break the cycle, by helping to convince members to leave the hate group.

“Our producers gained access to Klan families allowing for full immersion into this secret world and its impact on the next generation,” said A&E in a press statement. “‘Generation KKK’ brings viewers inside the places where hatred and prejudice are born and bred, and carried forward or not.”

The series “pulls back the curtain on the organization that the Anti-Defamation League calls a racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy, to show its effects on American families as members grapple with the consequences of leaving.”

The team of anti-hate and peace activists consists of Daryle Lamont Jenkins, the co-founder of One People’s Project, an organization that monitors and investigates hate groups; speaker, author and peace educator Arno Michaelis, a former skinhead who joined the white power movement at the age of 16; and Bryon Widner, a reformed Neo-Nazi and subject of the documentary Erasing Hate, who spent sixteen years as a skinhead until he realized the environment wasn’t best for his son. These activists develop deep relationships with Klan families attempting to convince them to hang up their robes and finally leave the group for good.

Soon after the announcement of the docuseries was made, A&E found itself on the receiving end of a flood of strong criticism and condemnation of the upcoming series, across the major social media platforms; the consensus reaction was that the series would essentially normalize the KKK and its hateful messages, and it didn’t take long before a proposal to boycott the series when it airs in January, was made. However, it wasn’t until “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo (and her 1.2 million Twitter followers) joined the chorus with a series of tweets shaming A&E and calling for a boycott , that the network finally responded to the actress with a tweet emphasizing that the series is about extracting families from the KKK and exposing hate, adding that they have the support of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). They also encouraged Pompeo to take a look at an 8-minute preview of “Generation KKK” (watch it below) giving viewers some idea of what to expect, and maybe calm any concerns. The Anti-Defamation League also chimed in, releasing a statement saying that they worked closely with A&E on the series.

Will any of this help to discourage a boycott of the series? We’ll know with certainty after it premieres and ratings are released.

Below, watch the 8-minute preview of the upcoming 8-part series which premieres on January 10th at 10 PM ET/PT on A&E.

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