In this undated photo from This Is Just A Test (TIJAT) Media and the A&E Network, peace activist Arno Michaelis, left, speaks with Chris Buckley, the Grand Knighthawk for the North Georgia White Knights, on A&E’s documentary series Generation KKK, which will premiere on January 10 at 10 pm ET/PT. (TIJAT/A&E via AP)
NEW YORK – A&E is dropping the plans for an eight-part documentary series about the Ku Klux Klan after finding that a number of participants of the hatred of the group were paid for their work.
The network said Saturday it was dropping Escape “the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposes Hate in America,” a day after the discovery of the “nominal” cash payments were given by third parties-producers.
“We stand behind the intent of the series and the seriousness of the content, these payments are a direct violation of the A&E policy and practice for a documentary,” the network said in a statement.
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“The escape of the KKK” was the follow of people who are trying to extract themselves from the racist and anti-Semitic hate group. The network had promised that no payments would be made.
“We had previously provided guarantees to the public and to the core of our partners — including the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change — that no payment is made to hate members of the group, and we believed that to be the case at the time,” said network. “We have now decided not to continue with the skies of this project.”
The project has a large amount of criticism as soon as it was announced earlier this month. The network, originally with the title of the series “Generation”,” change of the name and enlisted the help of civil rights groups to work together on the in-show educational content after getting the heat, so that the KKK’s hatred to be broadcast.
In the opening scene of a trailer for the now scrapped series, the Imperial Wizard of the North Mississippi White Knights is shown give young children red Klansman hoods and said that he hopes that his daughter will become the first female Imperial Wizard.
“Our goal with this series has always been to expose and combat racism and hate in all its forms,” A&E said. “A&E takes the authenticity of the documentary, the programming and the topic of racism, hatred and violence very seriously.”
While AMERICAN newspapers, magazines and tv news divisions generally do not pay subjects for the interviews, a number of documentary filmmakers do, but the practice is frowned upon.
Errol Morris, the Oscar-winning filmmaker, triggered a debate on the issue in 2008, when he acknowledged that during the making of his film “Standard Operating Procedure” of the soldiers who were convicted for tormenting prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq were paid for their time.