A&E executive vice president/GM Rob Sharenow previously told IndieWire that the network was concerned about their upcoming docuseries “Generation KKK” getting caught up in politics and “normalizing” white supremacy.
“This is not a reality show starring the Ku Klux Klan,” he stated, adding that he believes that shining a light on the Klan members can show “its true ugliness.”
“The worst thing you could do is ignore it and hope it goes away and hope it’s not really as bad as it is,” he said. “I think what this does is to say, ‘Look at this cancer. It’s horrible, and it’s going to kill us.’ It’s not polite. It’s not neat, and it’s also very much actively about the effort to stop it.”
Now, in an effort to ensure that no one can mistake the docuseries’ intent and that the title alone does not serve to normalize the Klan, A&E has decided to change the name from “Generation KKK” to “Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America.”
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Additionally, A&E Network has partnered with Color Of Change, the leading next-generation African American civil rights organization, to produce segments featuring civil rights leaders to provide context to the documentary. They will also produce a post-show town-hall special on ending hate in America.
“We are glad to have some of the country’s leading civil rights organizations, including the ADL, Color of Change and others as partners in this effort, and look forward to working together to impact hate in America,” said Sharenow in a statement. “We feel that this new title and enhanced partnerships, the in-show and after-show components and our outreach plan more broadly reflect the existing anti-hate content of the series and our longstanding intention. That goal is to expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms and we appreciate the valuable feedback we have received.”
Executive director of Color of Change, Rashad Robinson, also added, “After reviewing the promotions and episodes and participating in substantive conversations with A&E executives, we are pleased to see that the network is taking seriously concerns that the show – newly titled ‘Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America’ – required important additional components – such as specific in-show educational context and content and a post-show town hall as we both want to work together to ensure that it did not normalize and humanize racism and white supremacy. Black communities know all too well how perpetuating stereotypes and hateful rhetoric can empower a racist and violent agenda.”
The docuseries follows several family members who work with anti-hate “extractors” in order to help themselves or their family leave the Klan.
“Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America” will premiere January 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.