In case you missed it, A&E has been working on a documentary series called Generation KKK. The show was intended to document the experiences of people trying to escape the notorious hate group. The point was to examine how the group indoctrinates people and focuses on turning children into future white supremacists. However, it was not met with much approval by potential audiences.
In response to the public outcry, the show’s title was changed to Escaping the KKK, but that didn’t make much of a difference. As a result, the show was cancelled altogether. But believe it or not, the show wasn’t cancelled due to outrage from civil rights groups. In fact, A&E worked with several civil rights organizations to ensure that the series wouldn’t promote the KKK, but instead illustrate the dangers of racism in America.
It was canned because it came out that third party producers had made cash payments to “some participants in order to facilitate access.” Many people took this as A&E paying the KKK to let their producers film them. The details are sketchy, but those payments are in direct violation of A&E’s policies for making documentaries, and so they decided to cancel the series altogether instead of trying to salvage it.
This was probably the best choice on A&E’s part. Racism has been very much on people’s minds in 2016, particularly following Trump’s victory in November. While the channel seems to have been serious about addressing the issue of racism in the United States, such a series was going to be a hard sell for many people. It’s a clear case of a network not thinking through an idea enough before going ahead with it. In this case, A&E made the right call by cancelling it before it could hit the airwaves and harm their reputation even further.